December 25, 2008

Keep toy safety in mind

The North Dakota Department of Health and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission encourages consumers to keep safety in mind when choosing toys for young children this holiday season, according to Diana Read, Injury and Violence Prevention Program director for the North Dakota Department of Health.

In 2007, about 170,000 toy-related injuries to children were treated in a hospital emergency room and about 18 children died as a result of accidents involving toys. Most of the deaths were associated with airway obstruction from small toys, drowning or motor vehicle accidents during play. Most of the injuries were cuts, bruises and abrasions. Injuries most commonly occurred on the head and face.

"Many of these injuries and deaths can be prevented by purchasing an age-appropriate toy," Read said. "It’s also important that children are supervised while playing and parents should check to make sure toys have not been recalled."

The Department of Health and the CPSC offer the following tips to help avoid potential hazards during the holiday season and year round:


For children younger than 6, avoid building sets that have small magnets. If swallowed, serious injuries and/or death can occur. For children younger than 3, avoid toys with small parts that can cause choking.

Small parts:

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