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With some questionable health advice being posted by your friends on Facebook, politicians arguing about the state of the American healthcare system and a new medical study being summarized in just a sentence or two on TV---that seems to contradict the study you heard summarized yesterday---it can be overwhelming to navigate the ever-changing landscape of health news.

To Your Health: Safe Gifts and Toys Month

A close up of a teenager unwrapping Christmas presents on a timber floor.
christmasstockimages.com/freeimageslive.co.uk / christmas
A close up of a teenager unwrapping Christmas presents on a timber floor.

You might remember the classic "Saturday Night Live" sketch in which Dan Ackroyd portrays Irwin Mainway, a toy company president being questioned about his holiday product line which includes “Bag O’ Glass.” While that toy was fictional, in recent years, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has really created a robust toy safety system, by requiring testing by independent, third party laboratories around the world. However, as gift giving time nears, there are still risks that adults should be aware of when children tear into the wrapping paper.

Hello, I’m Dr. Brooke Hildebrand Clubbs at Southeast Missouri State University. December is National Safe Toys and Gifts Month.

Even if the toy is manufactured well and includes warning labels, the children playing with it still requires supervision. The American Public Health Association notes that choking is one of the most common injuries pertaining to toys. Families should be careful about toys with small parts, especially magnets, or button batteries, which can cause serious injury or death if ingested. Gifts of riding toys should come with a companion gift of protective gear, such as helmets and kneepads. Prevent Blindness America estimates an average of 11,000 toy-related eye injuries occur in children each year. The most common causes are toy weapons that shoot; however, eye protection should also be worn when playing sports. Keep toys appropriate for older children away from younger siblings and always repair or discard broken toys.






Dr. Brooke Hildebrand Clubbs is an assistant professor in the Department of Leadership, Middle & Secondary Education. She writes for special publications of The Southeast Missourian and is a certified Community Health Worker.
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