Christmas shoppers cautioned about toy safety

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 11, 2003

Christmas is a time of giving, and of joy. But it can also be a deadly time for a child who receives a toy that is clearly not age-appropriate.

Carol Mysinger, director of the injury prevention division of the Alabama Department of Public Health, recently distributed widely a warning regarding toys that may cause choking and other injuries to children. The warning includes a list of toys recalled in 2003.

The message: anyone who buys a gift for a child should read the accompanying label very carefully. “Parents (and others) should shop wisely for toys,” Mysinger said. “It’s important not only to choose the right toy for the child’s age, but parents also need to be cautious of hidden dangers toys might have.

“Be sure to read the label. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission requires toy manufacturers to meet stringent safety standards and to label certain toys that could be a hazard for younger children. Look for labels that give age recommendations and use that information as a guide.”

Ashvin Parikh, director of the Dallas County Health Department, said that no such cases had come to his attention at the health department but that that did not necessarily mean there have been no incidents.

In recent years public consciousness has been raised significantly in regard to dangers posed by some toys. The news release from the state department of public health lists 14 toys recalled in 2003 because of possible dangers.

A recent download from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s Web site revealed nine, single-spaced pages of toy recalls.

Any purchaser of toys of children can check the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s Web site at www.cpsc.gov, or www.adph.org/injury prevention, the state health department’s Web site.