“Holiday shopping is in full swing in Ocean County and there are some great sales,” said Freeholder Deputy Director Gerry P. Little, Liaison to the Ocean County Health Department, “But when it comes to buying toys and some of the other requests from children, the lowest sale price may not be the safest for children.” Little continued, “The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) estimates in its most recent report that hospital emergency rooms treated 251,700 toy-related injuries in 2010 throughout the United States. Of that number, 72% of injuries were to those less than 15 years of age. Many of the injuries reported in the Emergency Rooms occurred to the head and face area.”
Daniel Regenye, Ocean County Health Department (OCHD) Public Health Coordinator, said that PREVENT BLINDNESS AMERICA, the oldest eye health and safety organization, declared December as “Safe Toys and Gifts Awareness Month.” This organization encourages everyone to make conscientious purchasing decisions based on what is best for each individual child. Regenye said, “With so much going on during the holidays, we may forget that not every gift is appropriate for an individual child. We need to take some easy safety precautions to keep the holiday safe and happy for everyone.”
Leslie Terjesen, OCHD Public Information Officer, offers this list of suggestions from PREVENT BLINDNESS AMERICA in purchasing your child’s holiday gifts:
• Make recommendations to family members and friends about gifts that you feel are appropriate for your child. Be diligent about inspecting these gifts before allowing your child to play with them.
• Inspect all toys before purchasing. Monitor toys that your child has received as gifts to make sure they are appropriate for your child’s age and developmental level.
• For younger children, avoid play sets with small magnets and make sure batteries are secured within the toy. If magnets or batteries are ingested, serious injuries and/or death can occur.
• Gifts of sports equipment should always be accompanied by protective gear (such as a basketball along with eye goggles or a face guard with a new batting helmet for baseball or softball).
• Any toy that is labeled “supervision required” must always be used in the presence of an adult. Keep toys meant for older children away from younger ones.
• Always save the warranties and directions for every toy. If possible, include a gift receipt. Repair or throw away damaged toys.
• Avoid toys that shoot or include parts that fly off. Pr/pg2/safetoys11282011
• Inspect toys for sturdiness. Your child’s toys should be durable, with no sharp edges or points. The toys should also withstand impact. Do not give toys with small parts to young children. Young kids tend to put things in their mouths, increasing the risk of choking. If the part of a toy can fit in a toilet paper roll, the toy is not appropriate for children under the age of 3. Chief Robert C. Lawson Chief of Police, Lakewood Police Dept. 732-363-0200 ext 5353 firstname.lastname@example.org