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For Release: December 14, 2010
Prevent Toy Injuries During the Holidays
It’s that time of year again. The holiday season is filled with family, friends, food, and of course, gifts! According to Safe Kids USA, more than 65 percent of toys in the United States are purchased between Thanksgiving and Christmas. In the midst of the busy holiday season, the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) would like to remind Oklahomans to keep safety in mind when selecting children’s gifts.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reports there were over 250,000 toy-related injuries treated in hospital emergency departments last year in the United States. Seventy-four percent of these injuries were among children younger than 15 years of age. Most of these injuries can be prevented.
When shopping for children’s toys, Safe Kids USA and the OSDH promote the following safety tips:
· Choose toys according to the child’s age, interest, and skill level.
· Read warning labels for age recommendations, instructions on how to use and/or assemble toys, and watch out for the presence of small parts.
· Be aware of toys with small parts – objects smaller than a child’s fist can pose a choking hazard to young children, particularly for children 3 years of age and younger.
· When purchasing riding toys for children, it is important to also purchase appropriate safety gear (helmets, elbow and knee pads, etc).
· Be cautious of younger children playing with toys purchased and intended for older siblings.
· Actively supervise children during play and set examples of safe play.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers additional tips to prevent injuries during the holiday season:
· Monitor children. Keep potentially dangerous toys, food, drinks, household items and other objects out of their reach. Make sure toys are used properly.
· Practice fire safety. Most residential fires occur during the winter months. Never leave fireplaces, stoves, or candles unattended. Use alternative heating devices properly as indicated by the manufacturer. Install smoke alarms and test them at least once a month. Develop and practice a fire escape plan.
· Travel safely. Fasten seat belts while driving or riding in a motor vehicle. Always buckle your child in the car using a child safety seat or seat belt according to the child's height, weight, and age. Don't drink and drive, and don't let anyone else drink and drive.
For more information on the Safe Kids USA’s Toy Safety Campaign view their Web site: http://www.safekids.org/safety-basics/safety-resources-by-risk-area/toy. Additional holiday health and safety tips can be found on the CDC’s Web site: http://www.cdc.gov/family/holiday.
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