Danger Lurks After the Glitter Fades

Decorations are taken down, ornaments are safely tucked away for another year and the celebrations are over. Across the United States people are getting down to the business of 2013 with new concerns and new dreams. But sometimes the consequences of the holidays linger on, and not in pleasant memories.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) estimates there were over 260,000 toy-related emergency room visits in 2011, mostly children under 15 years of age. Although gifts are given throughout the year, the winter holiday season sees a spike in consumerism and exchange of toys and other products — some of them dangerous.

Each year the U.S. Public Interest Group (PIRG) publishes Trouble in Toyland, its report to inform an unsuspecting public of the dangers found in toys for children.

Basic tips for avoiding toy injury include:

  • Always give toys appropriate to the age, skills and interests of a child
  • Avoid giving children patently dangerous toys like the small, powerful magnets sold under brand names BuckyBalls, Zen Magnets and Magicube Magnet Balls
  • Stay away from toys with choking hazards for children under three
  • For children under eight, avoid toys with sharp edges or heated electrical parts
  • Always read safety labels and follow instructions

Safety hazards affect adults too. In December, Honda expanded its recall of FourTrax all-terrain vehicles due to a defective weld and Papyrus Signature Collection Frames were recalled due to presence of Aspergillus mold.

Any time of year, make sure your gifts leave only good memories.

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