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Toy Safety and Injury Prevention

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According to SAFE KIDS Florida, “an estimated 4 million Florida children (1 out of 4), ages 14 and under, will sustain injuries serious enough to require medical attention each year.”

 

Florida childhood injury facts include:

  • Unintentional injury is the leading cause of death and disability among Florida's children ages 14 and under.
  • 250,000 children are treated in Florida hospital emergency departments annually.
  • Approximately 7,000 of Florida's children are admitted annually to a hospital because of injuries.
  • Parents should also monitor children with riding toys to ensure they’re not pedaling near vehicle traffic, stairs, swimming pools or bodies of water.
  • According to the U.S. Consumer Product and Safety Commission, “Riding toys (including non-powered scooters) continue to be associated with injuries (70,600 or 34 percent) more than any other category of toys in 2003.”


There are also several Federal laws that govern hazardous substances and toys, including:

  • The Federal Hazardous Substances Act bans any toy or children’s article that consists of or contains any hazardous substance, including hazardous levels of lead, or that presents an electrical, mechanical or thermal hazard.
  • The Child Safety Protection Act bans any toy intended for use by children under age 3 that may pose a choking, aspiration or ingestion hazard. It also requires choking hazard warning labels for toys intended for use by children ages 3 to 6.
  • The Labeling of Hazardous Art Materials Act mandates the labeling of hazardous art materials as inappropriate for use by children.
  • Toy guns must conform to marking requirements under the U.S. Department of Commerce “Marking of Toy Look-Alike and Imitation Firearms” regulation.

 

SAFE KIDS Florida Coalition recommends following these safety precautions:

  • Use the cardboard tube from a roll of toilet paper to identify choking hazards. Do not let small children play with anything that can fit into one of these cylinders.
  • Inspect toys often to make sure they are in good maintenance. Do not let young children play with broken toys or toys with straps, cords or strings longer than 7 inches, due to the risk of strangulation.
  • Supervise children when they’re playing with any toy that has small parts and moving parts, electrical or battery-powered, cords, wheels or any other potentially risky component. Simply being in the same place as your child is not necessarily supervising. An actively supervised child is in sight and in reach at all times receiving your undivided attention.
  • Teach children to put toys away after playing in order to prevent falls and unsupervised play. Make sure toys, intended for younger children, are stored separately from those of older children.


For more information on toy safety and injury prevention, please log on to http://www.safekids.org/, www.aap.org