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Drew: Purchasing a Gift with Safety in Mind

By Samuetta Hill Drew

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reminds shoppers annually during the holiday season to “keep safety at the top of your mind this holiday season. Many injuries and deaths associated with celebrating the holidays can be prevented, so consumers are urged to put safety in practice while purchasing toys for children.”
Said CPSC Chair Alex Hoehn-Saric: “Protecting children from hazardous toys and other products is core to CPSC’s mission. We are committed to doing our part to ensure, through vigorous inspections and enforcement, that hazardous products don’t make it to store shelves or consumers’ homes; but we also want to arm families with important safety information so they can shop safely for toys and gifts and avoid trips to the emergency department during the holidays.”
A new report released by the CPSC found that in 2021 there were more than 152,000 toy related, emergency department-treated injuries to children younger than 15 years of age including two deaths. The fatalities involved choking on a small part of a toy and suffocating on a soft toy in an unsafe sleep environment. Therefore, give gifts and toys that inspire joy, not cause injuries.
Let’s review below some safety facts which should be considered when purchasing a gift or toy, especially for small children:
• Toys are age-rated for safety, NOT for children’s intellect and physical ability so be sure to choose toys in the correct age range.
• Choose toys for children under 3 that do not have small parts which could be a choking hazard.
• For children under 10, avoid toys that must be plugged into an electrical outlet.
• Be cautious about toys that have button batteries or magnets, which can be harmful or fatal if swallowed.
• When giving scooters and other riding toys, give the gift of appropriate safety gear, too; helmets should be worn at all times, and they should be sized to fit.
• For children younger than 15 years old, non-motorized scooters continued to be the category of toys associated with the most injuries. Males accounted for 58 percent of all of the injuries.
• Keep deflated balloons away from children younger than age 8. If swallowed, they can cause suffocation.
• Once the gifts are open, immediately discard plastic wrappings or other packaging on toys before they become dangerous playthings.
Please keep these safety facts in mind when shopping for your holiday gifts and toys because we want to Keep an Eye on Safety first so everyone can enjoy the holiday season.