PBA Asks Holiday Shoppers to Observe December as ‘Safe Toys and Gifts Month’

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CHICAGO—With the holiday shopping season in full swing, Prevent Blindness America (PBA) is reminding the public to consider eye health and safety when purchasing gifts for children by designating December “Safe Toys and Gifts Month.”

To support the initiative, the nonprofit is distributing tips on how to choose safe and age appropriate toys for children and how to recognize which toys are most dangerous through its online resource, “Make Safe Toys and Gifts a Priority.”  Included on the site are two fact sheets, “Facts About Toy Injuries” and “Tips for Choosing Safe Toys.”

According to 2011 data from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), an estimated 262,300 toy-related injuries were treated in emergency rooms across the U.S. and 74 percent of those injuries occurred in children under the age of 15. The most commonly injured part of the body being the head and face area. PBA has suggested several tips to consider before purchasing a toy, such as reading all warnings and instructions, avoiding toys with rigid points or edges, looking for materials that will withstand impact and looking for the letters ATSM, a designation denoting the product has meet the national safety standards set by the American Society for Testing Materials.

“To help keep the holidays festive and bright, we hope all gift-givers will take a moment to make safety the top priority when considering gifts,” said Hugh R. Parry, president and CEO of PBA.

For more information on safe toys and gifts for children, including the PBA Safe Toys Check List, please visit preventblindness.org or call Prevent Blindness America at (800) 331-2020.