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safe toys and gifts           


December 2006

NHM Health Focus: Safe Toys and Gifts

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

Safe Toys
  - Toy Safety Shopping Tips (CPSC)
  - Toy Safety Publications (CPSC)
  - Trouble in Toyland
(TOYSAFETY.net)
  - Safe Toy Checklist (Prevent Blindness America)
  - Choosing Safe Toys (Medem, AAP)
  - Toy Safety Hotline (Toy Industry Association)
  - Toy Safety (NNCC)
  - Information and Shopping List (Child Dev. Insitute)

Safe Food and Clothing
  - Homemade Food Gifts–What's Safe? (UMN Extension)
  - Clothing Safety Publications
  - Toy and Gift Safety Guidelines (CCHMC)
  - 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, an estimated 140,700 children were treated in U.S. hospital emergency rooms after toy-related incidents and 13 children died. " (CPSC)

For more onthis issue see the CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission) recall list that includes toys, clothing, sports and recreation equipment, among the items reviewed.

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: