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CPSC Data Reports More than a 107,000 Toy-related Facial/Head Injuries to Kids Last Year
Prevent Blindness Declares December as Safe Toys and Gifts Awareness Month to Provide Tips on Purchasing Items for Children
Columbus, Ohio (Nov. 20, 2018) – The Holiday rush is on and gift buying can be hectic. But before purchasing any gifts for children, the Ohio Affiliate of Prevent Blindness recommends buyers make safety the priority.
Last year, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) issued a report stating that there were an estimated 240,000 toy-related injuries treated in U.S. hospital emergency departments. An estimated 80,100 of those injuries were to children younger than age 5. And, 45 percent (or 107,400) of the total injuries were to the head and face area, the area of the body with the most injuries.
To help shoppers select appropriate gifts this holiday season, Prevent Blindness has declared December as Safe Toys and Gifts Awareness month and offers tips including:
- Read all warnings and instructions on the box.
- Avoid toys that shoot or include parts that fly off. Remember that BB guns are NOT toys.
- Ask yourself or the parent if the toy is right for the child’s ability and age. Consider whether other smaller children may be in the home and may have access to the toy.
- Avoid purchasing toys with sharp or rigid points, spikes, rods, or dangerous edges.
- Buy toys that will withstand impact and not break into dangerous shards.
- When giving gifts of sports equipment make sure that the proper sports eye protection is also included. Recommendations may be found at www.preventblindness.org/recommended-sports-eye-protectors.
- Look for the letters “ASTM.” This designation means the product meets the national safety standards set by ASTM International.
- Always supervise children and demonstrate to them how to use their toys safely.
- If purchasing sunglasses, make sure they are labeled as 100 percent UV-blocking.
Other toy safety tips include:
- 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 any part of a toy can fit in a toilet paper roll, the toy is not appropriate for children under the age of 3.
- Do not purchase toys with long strings or cords, especially for infants and very young children as these can become wrapped around a child’s neck.
- Always dispose of uninflated or broken balloons immediately.
- Do not purchase toys with small magnets. Magnets, like those found in magnetic building sets and other toys, can be extremely harmful if swallowed. Seek immediate medical attention if you suspect a child may have swallowed a magnet.
- Ensure any batteries are securely in place.
- Ensure all art materials are labeled as “nontoxic.”
“When giving the gift of sports equipment, Prevent Blindness strongly urges also providing sports eye protection,” said Sherry Williams, President & CEO of the Ohio Affiliate of Prevent Blindness. “An eye care professional can provide guidance for the best protection for each sport and athlete.”
For more information on safe toys and gifts for children, please visit preventblindness.org/safe-toy-checklist or call Prevent Blindness 800-301-2020.
About Prevent Blindness
Founded in 1908, Prevent Blindness is the nation’s leading volunteer eye health and safety organization dedicated to fighting blindness and saving sight. The Ohio Affiliate of Prevent Blindness is Ohio’s leading volunteer nonprofit public health organization dedicated to preventing blindness and preserving sight. We serve all 88 Ohio counties, providing direct services to more than 1,000,000 Ohioans annually and educating millions of consumers about what they can do to protect and preserve their precious gift of sight. For more information or to make a contribution, call 800-301-2020. Or, visit us on the web at www.pbohio.org or facebook.com/pbohio. Or, visit us on the Web at preventblindness.org or facebook.com/preventblindness.