"Gifts of sports equipment should always be accompanied by protective gear (give a helmet with the skateboard) Think protection from injury while having fun! Also, keep in mind that new sports often have a learning curve that may require adult supervision at first.

In America, lead based paint has been banned for use in household goods since 1978. Older homes painted prior to the ban may contain lead in the paint. In addition, many countries continue to use lead based paint and coatings in toys and other domestic products.

Keep kids away from lead. There is no safe level of lead exposure.

Educate yourself about lead exposure from toys: Find out the toy’s country of origin. What kinds of toys have been recalled? Is the toy new or “vintage”? Older toys are more likely to have leaded based paint. Lead paint is hazardous. It has a sweet taste, which encourages children to put it in their mouths.

Lead poisoning can cause kidney damage, nervous system damage, stunted growth and delayed development. Symptoms of lead poisoning may not show up immediately. Symptoms are roughly proportional to the amount of exposure. Children with progressive exposure may show cognitive defects, irritability, or seizures. If you suspect your child has been exposed to lead, call your doctor. He can do a blood test to determine the level of lead in your child’s blood.

Before you make these purchases, it is critical to remember to consider the safety and age range of the toys.

Do NOT give toys with small parts (including magnets and “button” batteries, which can cause serious injury or death if ingested) to young children, as they tend to put things in their mouths, increasing the risk of choking. If the piece can fit inside a toilet paper roll, it is not appropriate for kids under age three.

Do NOT give toys with ropes and cords or heating elements to young children.

Do NOT give crayons and markers unless they are labeled “nontoxic”.

For more information:  http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002473.htm"

Article Categories: