December is Safe Toys and Gifts Month, an effort by Prevent Blindness America (PBA) that asks us to consider the age-appropriateness of a gift before giving it to a child. Primarily focused on preventing injury, recommendations from PBA include:
- Inspecting toys before purchase
- Avoiding toys that shoot or have flying parts
- Avoiding toys with sharp edges and points
- Avoiding toys with small parts
- Avoiding toys with ropes, cords, or heating elements
- Looking for the ATSM label to ensure the toy has passed safety inspections
PBA further suggests that, before purchasing a gift for a child, you look at the age recommendation and skill requirements to make sure it is appropriate and safe for his or her abilities.
Gifts for Smaller Children
Children under the age of three are the primary focus of Safe Toys and Gifts Month. Shopping for this particular age group can be challenging, particularly if you are trying to avoid toys that are loud or electronic. You can do well with this age group by purchasing gifts that encourage exploration, creativity, and interaction.
Some fun, oral health-inspired gifts for toddlers include:
- Crocodile Dentist game
- Alma's Designs Dentist Kit
- Early Learning Soft Dentist Kit
- StarSmilez Kids Alligator Educational Plush & Toothbrush
- Play-Doh Doctor Drill 'n Fill Set
- LLY Children Role Play Toys - Pretend Dentist Check Teeth Set
Toddlers love to be read to. Books encourage closeness, teach valuable lessons, and help develop critical learning skills, making them fantastic gifts for children. Book suggestions for the four and under set include:
- The Tooth Book by Dr. Seuss and Joe Mathieu
- Brush, Brush, Brush! by Alicia Padron
- The Tooth Book: A Guide to Healthy Teeth and Gums by Edward Miller
- Sugarbug Doug: All About Cavities, Plaque, and Teeth by Dr. Ben Magleby
- Just Going to the Dentist by Mercer Mayer
As kids get older, toys with smaller parts become safer and non-toy gifts become an option as well. Some gift ideas for kids ages 5 and older include:
- Lanlan Doctor Series Children Simulation Dental Clinic Medical Kit Kids Educational Toy
- Tooth brushing sand timer
- Kids water flosser
- Electric toothbrush
- Toysmith Twinkle Toof Tooth
Some of these make great stocking stuffers for older kids. So do things like toothpaste, sugar-free gum, and kids flossers.
Don’t Forget the Adults
Some of the suggestions for kids, like a water flosser or electric toothbrush, may make great presents for adults. So might a professional-strength tooth whitening kit that can be used to brighten teeth up to ten shades over the course of just a few short weeks. Additional options for the grownups on your list include gift cards for cosmetic dentistry services such as porcelain veneers, porcelain crowns, enamel contouring, and gum rejuvenation - gifts you can give to yourself this holiday season as well.
For more holiday suggestions or to make an appointment or purchase a gift at NYC Smile Design, please call 212-452-3344 today. Located in Manhattan, we welcome patients of all surrounding areas of New York.