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NHM Health Focus:
Safe Toys and Gifts

December 2009

safe toys and gifts   

Recalls and Consumer Safety Resources
  - Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)
  - Recalls.gov (CPSC, NHTSA, USCG, FDA, USDA, and EPA)
  - Recalls, Market Withdrawals and Safety Alerts Archive (FDA)

Safe Toys
  - Toy Safety Shopping Tips (CPSC)
  - Toy Safety Publications (CPSC)
  - Trouble in Toyland
  - Safe Toy Checklist (Prevent Blindness America)
  - Choosing Safe Toys (KidsHealth)
  - Toy Safety (NNCC)
  - Toy Info and Shopping Tips (Child Dev. Insitute)

Safe Food and Clothing
  - Homemade Food Gifts–What's Safe? (UMN Extension)
  - Clothing Safety Publications (CPSC)
  - Recommendations for Food Gifts for the Military (USDA)
  - Giving the Gift of Food Safely (UMN Extension)

As the Holiday gift giving season approaches, so does the challenge of selecting the right gift for each recipient. While we want each gift to be appropriate, appreciated, and above all, safe, this is often not as easy as we would like.

The scope of the problem is much larger than most of us realize. Many gifts, especially toys and items for younger people need to be both safe and age appropriate. Last year (2008), an estimated 82,000 children under the age of five were treated in U.S. hospital emergency rooms after toy-related incidents. In the same year, nineteen children died from toy related injuries. (USPIRG)

For more on this issue see the CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission) recall list. Among the items reviewed are toys, sports equipment, and other child and infant items.

Another tip: Gifts of food should be safe and free of allergens harmful to the recipient. The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) and the USDA (US Department of Agriculture) share responsibility for food safety and provide safety tips as well as recall information.

For a combined listing of recalls ordered by six U. S. Government Agencies check Recalls.org. Each of these agencies has its own has responsibility for a different set of products:

Help is available:

More helpful guidelines, tips, and warnings are linked in the sidebar. With informed selection, the gift you give can be appropriate, appreciated, and SAFE!

Access Excellence @ the National Health Museum has these resources related to safe toys and gifts:

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