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Health eTips is produced by the staff of the St. Charles County Department of Public Health. The department consists of three divisions - Environmental Health and Protection, Health Services and Humane Services - that provide a wide range of services focused on enhancing the well-being of this community.

If you have questions about the Department of Public Health or have suggestions on public health topics you'd like to see explored in this blog, please email us.

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Nov 30

Choose Safe Gifts

Posted on November 30, 2017 at 10:56 AM by Doug Bolnick


A common question this time of year is “What’s the hottest gift I can buy for my child?” However, it’s more important to consider which products are safest and most appropriate for their loved ones.
Holiday Gift
Every year, thousands of children experience toy-related health emergencies because of faulty manufacturing, products inappropriate for certain age levels and accidental injuries. These preventable injuries can involve choking, ingestion, eye damage, cuts and other physical harms. To help prevent these scares, gift buyers should asses how a toy might be used and misused by the child and any siblings or playmates.

Look for the Label

To choose appropriate toys for your child, be a label reader. Look for packaging labels that indicate age recommendations and safety concerns. Select the gifts that suit the age, abilities, skills and interest level of the recipient. Also, pay attention to instructions for battery-operated or electric-powered toys and games to avoid shock hazards and fires.

Check the Construction

Broken toys, small parts and sharp edges pose a great risk. The leading cause of toy-related deaths is choking or blocked breathing from removable or broken parts that are swallowed. Toys with long strings or cords can cause choking if swallowed, or accidentally wrap around the neck of young children. Additionally, items with sharp edges or points can cause stabbing injuries. Improper use of projectile toys can result in serious eye injuries.

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Seatbelt use by family