Safe Kids Kansas

Preventing Accidental Injury.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 19, 2012

KDHE Office of Communications
communications@kdheks.gov, 785-296-0461

Be Safety Savvy When Shopping for Toys

Safe Kids Kansas Shares Tips on Toy and Shopping Safety

TOPEKA, Kan.  – While the kids are making a list of toys they want for the holidays, adults should be checking it twice for safety. Make sure you and other gift-givers are safety savvy before you hit the stores this holiday season.

Selecting Toys
Parents and caregivers can make sure they’re choosing safe toys for their children by paying close attention to warning labels and manufacturer’s guidelines.

“More than 3 billion toys and games are sold in the U.S. every year, and most of them are very safe. Warning labels and manufacturers’ instructions tell you how to use the product safely,” says Cherie Sage, Safe Kids Kansas. “If the manufacturer sets a minimum age or other restrictions, there’s a reason. For example, a label reading not appropriate for children under 3 may be present because the toy poses a choking hazard, not because it’s too difficult for a 2-year-old.”

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), in 2009, there were an estimated 186,000 emergency room-treated injuries related to toys with children younger than age 15. This is an increase from the 152,000 injuries reported in 2005. However, toy-related fatalities have decreased; 12 deaths to children under age 15, down from 24 toy-related fatalities in 2007 and 2008.

 “If you buy toys secondhand or get hand-me-downs, visit www.recalls.gov to make sure the toy hasn’t been recalled for safety reasons,” says Sage. Sign up for emails alerts to keep up-to-date on toy recalls beyond the holiday itself. If a new toy comes with a product registration card, mail it in right away so the manufacturer can contact you if the item is ever recalled. To sign up for recall emails, go to www.cpsc.gov and click on “Sign Up for Safety News and Recall E-mails.”

Don’t hesitate to report defects or design features that seem dangerous. “If your child has a close call, the next child might not be so lucky,” says Sage. “Report safety concerns about toys to the Consumer Product Safety Commission at 800-638-2772 or www.cpsc.gov. Your experience could be part of a pattern that might lead to a recall.”

Safe Kids Kansas also recommends:

Shop Safely
It is estimated that more than 20,000 children ages five and under are injured by shopping carts each year in the U.S., according to the CPSC. Falls are the most common cause of shopping-cart related injury in children of this age group, accounting for 83 percent of all injuries. Tip-overs and children colliding with the shopping cart are other causes of injury.

Top five ways to avoid shopping-cart injuries:

For more information on safe toys, visit www.safekids.org. Visit us at www.safekidskansas.org and on Facebook.