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SafetyAlerts
November 23, 1999

Safe Toys Help Ensure a Safe Holiday Season

Lincoln, NE (SafetyAlerts) - Nationally, more than 100,000 children aged 14 and under are treated in emergency rooms every year for toy-related injuries. The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, SAFEKIDS Coalition recommends that you avoid the following when selecting toys for your children:

  • Toys with small, removable parts. Small parts can be chewed on or swallowed by children under three, creating a choking hazard. Use a small parts tester (which can be purchased at a toy or specialty store) to measure the size of the toy or part. If the piece fits entirely inside the tester, it could be a choking hazard.
  • Toys with sharp points or edges.
  • Toys that make loud noises. Toy guns and high-volume portable cassette recorders can permanently impair a child’s hearing.
  • Propelled toy darts and other projectiles – they can cause cuts or eye injuries.
  • Toys with strings, straps, or cords longer than seven inches. Long strings and cords can wrap around a child’s neck and strangle him or her.

Toy suggestions/guidelines:

Infants to age 1: activity quilts, stuffed animals without button noses and eyes (because they can be pulled off and swallowed), bath toys, soft dolls, baby swings, cloth books, and squeaky toys.

Ages 1 to 3: books, blocks, fit-together toys, balls, push-and-pull toys, pounding toys, and shape toys.

Ages 3 to 5: non-toxic art supplies, books, videos, musical instruments, and outdoor toys such as a baseball tee, slide, or swing.

Ages 5 to 9: craft materials, jump ropes, puppets, books, electric trains, and sports equipment.

Ages 9 to 14: computers, microscopes, table and board games, and outdoor and team sports equipment.

Other toy giving tips when buying bicycles, tricycles, skateboards, or sleds:

  • Giving a bike, skateboard, or sled? Include a helmet as part of the gift. Bicycle helmets can reduce the risk of head injury by as much as 85 percent.
  • Buy reflective clothing, stickers, or bike reflectors for any child who will be riding or skating in non-daylight hours.
  • Give a bike horn or bell as a stocking stuffer.
  • Include elbow pads, wrist guards, and kneepads when giving in-line skates, roller skates, or skateboards as gifts.
  • Give in-line skating lessons from a professional instructor or a community recreation center. Providing good instruction helps a new skater learn the right way to skate as well as good skating etiquette.

Source: Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services

Safety Alerts compiles comprehensive safety recall information for the United States. SafeMail is a free email service to warn consumers of faulty products and contaminated foods. For complete information regarding current recalls, past recalls and timely product warning notification visit: www.safetyalerts.com.

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The information contained herein has been obtained from sources that the Company believes to be reliable, however, the Company has not independently verified or confirmed the information and the recipient acknowledges that no representations or warranties are being made in connection with the use of the information.