Happy Holidays...Safe Toy Alert

Last Editorial Review: 12/1/2003

Since the Friday after Thanksgiving is the day many people start their Christmas shopping in a serious way, it is an appropriate time to talk about toys. 

The Consumer Product Safety Commission suggests consumers check their list of recalled children's products for dangerous items that may have been purchased before a recall was issued.

We recommend that you check out these lists of unsafe toys and children's products before you get caught up in the whirlwind of Christmas shopping.

To see if you may have toys or other products in your home that have been recalled, please visit the MedicineNet.com Product Recall area.

Barbara K. Hecht, Ph.D.
Frederick Hecht, M.D.
Medical Editors, MedicineNet.com

Happy Holiday Safety Checklist!

November 25, 2003 -- WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) Chairman Hal Stratton today warned holiday season gift buyers to be on the lookout for recently recalled toys and children's products that pose serious safety threats to youngsters. To provide consumers easier access to all recall announcements, Chairman Stratton also announced the launch of a new federal government inter-agency Web site -- www.Recalls.gov.

Hazardous products that consumers may have in their homes that could endanger children, as families gather for the holidays. Consumers should check whether products have been recalled and dispose of them or place them out of the reach of children until they can be replaced or repaired. Manufacturers will usually offer a free repair kit or replacement product.

The CPSC is also providing the following safety tips to help consumers choose appropriate toys this holiday season and year round.

The following safety tips will help consumers choose appropriate toys:
  • Select toys to suit the age, abilities, skills, and interest level of the intended child. Toys too advanced may pose safety hazards to younger children.

  • For infants, toddlers, and all children who still mouth objects, avoid toys with small parts, which could pose a fatal choking hazard.

  • Look for sturdy construction, such as tightly secured eyes, noses, and other potential small parts.

  • For all children under age 8, avoid toys that have sharp edges and points.

  • Do not purchase electric toys with heating elements for children under age 8.

  • Be a label reader. Look for labels that give age and safety recommendations and use that information as a guide.

  • Check instructions for clarity. They should be clear to you, and when appropriate, to the child.

  • Immediately discard plastic wrappings on toys, which can cause suffocation, before they become deadly playthings.

Consumers can get the list of recalled products by going to the CPSC website, www.cpsc.gov, www.recalls.gov, or calling toll free, 1-800-638-2772. This list identifies recalled children's products that are off store shelves but may still be lurking in garages, attics, basements, toy boxes or closets.

Source: CPSC press release# 04-037, November 25, 2003.

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