Shop Smart, Protect Kids During Gift-Giving Season

Don’t Toy With Safety Hazards
Dec 19, 2018

The Ocean County Health Department cautions gift givers to protect kids from potentially harmful toys this holiday season. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, more than 183,000 toy-related injuries and 11 deaths were reported in 2014.

Ocean County Freeholder Director Gerry P. Little, liaison to the Ocean County Board of Health, says certain toys are not for everyone; it’s a parent’s job to be on guard.

The good news is toy recalls have declined in recent years. In 2015, the CPSC issued just 25 toy recalls – down from 172 in 2008. To keep those numbers on a downward trend, bear the following tips in mind:

Read the label. Warning labels give important information about proper use and age guidelines.

Think big. Make sure all toys and parts are larger than a child’s mouth to prevent choking.

You’ll Shoot Your Eye Out. Avoid toys that shoot objects in the air. Projectiles can cause serious injuries or choking.

The Simpler the Better. For younger children, avoid toys with magnets, and make sure the batteries are secure in the toy. If swallowed, magnets and batteries can cause serious injury or death.

Quality Control. Choose toys that are well made. Inspect for sturdiness. Make sure parts are on squarely, edges are secure, seams are tight, etc. Toys should be durable, with no sharp points or edges.

Clean Up. Dispose of plastic wrapping and other packaging immediately.

Go “Non-Toxic.” No one wants to have to call Poison Control.

Crib Care. Be careful buying any items for cribs. Strings and wires should be kept short to avoid strangulation.

“The holidays are a busy time, but it’s important we protect our children by making smart decisions when purchasing toys as gifts,” according to Ocean County Health Department Public Health Coordinator Daniel E. Regenye. “Too many children end up in emergency rooms this time of year because of avoidable accidents.”

For more information, visit ochd.org. And check out the new website phu2.org to learn more about the health department’s “Public Health is You, Too!” campaign, which encourages citizens to take simple steps to improve health for better quality of life.  —V.F.

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