FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 14, 2009



Safety First for New and Donated Toys


Union County, NJ – The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders reminds holiday gift-givers to keep safety in mind when shopping for new or used toys, donating toys to charity, or swapping with friends and family.

“It’s always important to step back and take a second look to make sure your gift is safe and age-appropriate for young children,” said Freeholder Chairman Alexander Mirabella.

The age labels that are posted prominently on new toys are designed to help prevent accidents, especially choking.  The guidelines follow general patterns of behavior for infants, toddlers and small children.  Children under age 3 frequently put things in their mouths, so toys with small parts should be avoided for that age group.

Children age 3 to 5 generally lack the skill to handle fragile objects, so avoid toys made of thin plastic or other material that could break into sharp pieces.

When buying arts and crafts supplies for young children, look for labels indicating that the product is safe for that age group.

For children age 6 to 12, be especially aware of safety gear.  For example, if the gift is a skateboard or bicycle, it should be accompanied by a helmet.

Gently used toys, handmade toys and other unpackaged toys do not come with age-appropriate guidance.  Before purchasing, donating or swapping these toys, consider the age of the child who will receive it, and check for loose or broken parts.

For more information about toy safety and other consumer products, visit or call the Union County Office of Consumer Affairs, 908-654-9840.  All voice messages are returned promptly.