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This Holiday Season: Shop Smart, Shop Safe

It’s that time of year again, and the Collective Prevention Services (CPS), a department within the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labor (Ministry VSA), as part of its annual calendar of observances, is calling on the community to ensure safe holiday experiences for the entire family.

The 2022 holiday season is here, and CPS advises shoppers about one of the key points this holiday season is to make sure that whatever gift you buy for a child, make sure that it's safe – Shop Smart, Shop Safe. Check the safety information of toys before you purchase them.

Before purchasing or giving any gift, particularly any intended for a child, double check to make sure the gifts do not pose a hazard or put the child at risk of danger. Carefully read

the safety instructions and conditions attached to the gift and ensure that it is age appropriate.

Here are some safety tips for holiday season shopping: select toys suitable for a child's age, abilities, skills, and interest level; for infants, toddlers, and all small children, avoid toys with small parts, which could pose a fatal choking hazard.

Avoid toys with sharp edges and points, especially for children under age eight; read the labels that give age and safety recommendations and use that information as a guide in your holiday shopping.

Magnets — For children under age six, avoid building sets with small magnets. If swallowed, serious injuries and/or death can occur.

Small Parts — For children younger than age three, avoid toys with small parts, which can cause choking.

Ride-on Toys — Riding toys, skateboards and in-line skates go fast, and falls could be deadly. Helmets and safety gear should always be sized to fit and worn when operating the aforementioned. Help instil safety discipline.

Projectile Toys — Projectile toys such as air rockets, darts and sling shots are for older children. Improper use of these toys can result in serious eye injuries.

Chargers and Adapters — Charging batteries should be supervised by adults. Chargers and adapters can pose thermal burn hazards to children.

One of the most important gifts of all to give a child is time spent with you as a parent/guardian this holiday season. As we prepare to celebrate the holidays during this pandemic, let us be mindful and stay close to home with immediate family and limit interactions in small social/family bubbles.