Safety Tips for the Holidays

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christmas12The following message is from Senator David Vitter concerning toy shopping safety tips:

With the holidays fast approaching, many  families are preparing their homes for
visitors and searching for the perfect  gifts to give their little ones.
My kids all have Saints gear at the top of their  wish lists.  And as Wendy and I
have shopped for them we’ve, of course,  seen other parents out shopping for their
Since I’ve heard from many parents over the past  year about their concern for toy
safety, I  wanted to share these safety  tips from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety
Commission with you to keep in mind  as you do your holiday shopping.

When shopping for children under 3 years old:
-Avoid buying toys intended for  older children.  These toys may have small parts
that could pose a choking  danger to children under 3 who tend to put everything in
their mouths.
-Avoid toys that have sharp edges  and points, and look for toys that are well-made
with tightly secured eyes, noses and other  parts that children could pull apart.
-Avoid marbles and games with balls less than 1.75 inches in  diameter.  These
products can also pose a choking hazard to young  children.

When shopping for children between  3 and 5 years old:
-Avoid toys that are constructed  with thin, brittle plastic that might easily break
into small pieces or leave  jagged edges.
– Look for household art materials, including crayons and paint sets,  marked with
the designation “ASTM D-4236.”  This means the product has been reviewed by a
toxicologist and, if necessary, labeled with cautionary information.

And when shopping for children  ages 6 through 12:
– If you buy a bicycle for any age  child, buy a helmet too, and make sure the child
wears it.
– For all children, check toys periodically for breakage and potential  hazards.
Damaged or dangerous  toys should be repaired or thrown away.

In general, be a label reader.  Look for  and heed age recommendations.  Last year,
an estimated 140,700 children  were treated in U.S. hospital emergency rooms after
toy-related  incidents.  It’s important to choose the right toy for the right age

When the head of the CPSC went through  confirmation hearings in the U.S. Senate, I
questioned her about actions the  CPSC can take to continually improve the safety of
toys.  The CPSC  oversees the safety of toys and many other consumer products.  For
more information, you can call CPSC’s  toll-free hotline at 1-800-6… or visit
its website at  And I will continue working  with the CPSC and on
other measures to ensure the safety of the products our  children play with.

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