Safe Toy and Celebrations Month in December
December 6, 2018
Littleton, NH - Many children get toys and toy jewelry as gifts during the holiday season. Some, especially toys made in other countries, antique toys and toy jewelry, may contain lead. We can neither see nor smell lead. Manufacturers use lead in paints and pigments on some toys. Lead can seriously effect children, especially those younger than 6 years old. Exposure can cause your child to be fussy and have belly pain. Lead can also cause hearing loss. Children exposed to lead may have learning problems and be behind in developmental milestones, such as sitting, walking, and talking.
To reduce risks of coming in contact with lead through toys, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recalls toys that may expose children to lead. Check cpsc.gov/Safety-Education/Toy-Recall-Statistics to learn more about toy safety.
CPSC's safety tips when buying toys:
- Check the label: Follow age and safety information on packaging (they base age grades on safety concerns and on the developmental appropriateness for children).
- Stay away from toys with small parts, as well as marbles and small balls, for children under age three.
- Be sure stuffed toys have age-appropriate features such as embroidered or secured eyes and noses for younger children and strong seams that hold up for an older child's play.
- Be careful with magnets: High-powered magnet sets are a safety risk to children - toddler through teen. Children can swallow loose magnets, causing serious intestinal injuries.
- Choose toys that match your child's interests and abilities as well as your family's play areas.
- Get safety gear. With scooters and other riding toys, be sure to include helmets. Wear helmets the right way at all times. Be sure they're the right size.
- Know your seller. Buy only from stores you know and trust.
Many people travel during the holidays by car. Driving over the holidays has the highest fatality rate of any major form of transportation. In 2015, 355 people died on New Year's Day, 386 on Thanksgiving Day and 273 on Christmas Day, according to Injury Facts 2017. People who die from alcohol-impairment represent about one-third of the totals.
Safety tips while on the road over the holidays:
- Designate a driver to ensure guests make it home safely after a holiday party; alcohol, over-the-counter or illegal drugs all cause impairment.
- Make sure every person in the vehicle uses a seat belt, even for a short drive.
- Put cell phones away; they are the major source of distraction in a vehicle.
- Keep up with your vehicle's maintenance; always have an emergency kit with you.
- Be ready for heavy traffic and winter storms.
And while decorating:
- Decorate the tree with your kids and/or pets in mind; move ornaments that are breakable or have metal hooks toward the top.
- Always use a step ladder; don't stand on chairs or other furniture.
- Make sure wires and sockets are in good shape; do not overload your electrical circuits.
- Keep any poisonous plants (including some Poinsettias) out of reach of children or pets; you can reach the national Poison Control Center at (800) 222-1222.
- Make sure paths are clear so no one trips on wrapping paper, decorations, toys, etc.
And during food prep:
- Stay away from turkey fryers. The Consumer Product Safety Commission reported 168 turkey-fryer related fires, burns, explosions or carbon monoxide poisoning incidents since 2002. CPSC says these injured 672 people and resulted in $8 million in property damage losses from turkey fryers.
- Wash hands often!
- Follow safe food prep tips.
- Refrigerate leftovers within two hours; keep them in the refrigerator no longer than 4 days.
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