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December 1 , 2008


Toy Safety: Put These Tips on Your Holiday List

Sheboygan, Wis. --Although family budgets may be a bit tighter this holiday, toys will always be on family shopping lists. Children will also provide lists of their own about which toys they want for Christmas. However, parents, grandparents and other adults must consider which toys are actually appropriate. It is important to keep in mind that safety should always come first when buying a toy.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), safety should be a priority when choosing toys. "While most toy-related injuries are minor, some can be severe or even fatal," says Julie Roehrborn, M.D., Sheboygan Pediatric Associates-Medical Arts and member of Physicians' Health Network.

The AAP offers the following safety tips for toy shopping:

  • Read warning labels to see whether the toy is age-appropriate and whether adult supervision is advised. Be sure to show children how to use the toy properly.
  • Children under age 3 can choke on small parts contained in toys or games and balls with a diameter of one and three-quarters of an inch or less.
  • Avoid toys that shoot small objects into the air or make loud or shrill noises.
  • Look for sturdy construction.
  • Watch out for sharp points or edges.
  • Avoid toxic materials; look for paint sets, crayons, etc. that are marked nontoxic, and know that small batteries can be a choking or swallowing hazard.
  • Don't give hobby kits and chemistry sets to kids under 12.
  • Children under 8 years old should not play with latex balloons, as they are a choking hazard.
  • Make sure electric toys are UL approved.
  • Be careful when buying crib toys, strings or wires should be kept short.
  • Store toys in a safe container. Toy chests with lids should have locking supports and safe hinges, as well as ventilation holes.

"Gift buyers should also be on the lookout for recently recalled toys and children's product this holiday season," says Roehrborn. "Recalled products pose serious safety threats to young children," Roehrborn said.

One of the goals of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is to protect consumers and families from dangerous toys. Toys are recalled for different reasons including unsafe lead levels, choking or fire hazards. Toys that are recalled should be removed right away. If you think your child has been exposed to a toy containing lead, ask your child's doctor about testing for elevated blood lead levels. If you want to know if a toy is safe or has been recalled, see the CPSC web site, , for photos and descriptions of all recalled toys.

Following are some additional web sites that provide helpful information on safe toys: , , and

About Julie Roehrborn, M.D

Dr. Roehrborn earned her medical degree from the University of Nebraska, Omaha, Nebraska. She completed her Pediatric Residency at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, Iowa City, Iowa. She is an American Academy of Pediatrics Fellow and member of the State Medical Society of Wisconsin. Dr. Roehrborn joined Sheboygan Pediatric Associates located at Medical Arts-Superior Avenue, 2920 Superior Avenue in 1998. Dr. Roehrborn specializes in pediatric and adolescent medicine and is a member of Physicians' Health Network.

About St. Nicholas Hospital
St. Nicholas Hospital is a non-profit hospital sponsored by the Hospital Sisters of St. Francis located at 3100 Superior Avenue, Sheboygan, Wisconsin. Their mission and vision is to provide family-centered, compassionate care without regard for race, creed, or ability to pay. This is achieved through the core values of respect, care, competence, and joy.

To learn more, visit .

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St. Nicholas Hospital
3100 Superior Avenue
Sheboygan , WI 53081


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 100 Superior Avenue
 Sheboygan, WI 53081