Toy Safety a Holiday Concern

by Press Release--Burlington County | Nov 23, 2008
Toy Safety a Holiday Concern This week’s Consumer Tip on Burlington County’s web site (www.co.burlington.nj.us) provides information and tips on helping you shop and purchase toys that are safe for your children during the holidays.

“It is estimated that more than 1.7 billion toys are purchased in this country each year,’’ Freeholder Stacey Jordan said. “In 2006, there were 22 toy-related deaths and more than 165,000 injuries treated in hospital emergency rooms for children younger than 15, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

“At this time of year, we need to remind parents and any shopper purchasing a toy to read the label and make sure the toy is age appropriate for the child.’’

The first tip in toy safety tips is, before shopping, check the web site http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/category/toy.html for a list of recalled toys.

Avoid buying toys that may contain lead paint; be aware of small parts like eyes on stuffed animals, that could be removed and cause a choking hazard; and consider ropes, cords or strings on toys that may cause a strangling hazard.

It is also recommended that toys in your house be regularly examined for worn or frayed electrical cords, for loose parts, peeling paint and sharp edges.

Burlington County Director of Consumer Affairs/Special Superintendent of Weights and Measures Renee Borstad encourages consumers to call her office at 609-265-5054 with any questions.

“We urge consumers, especially parents, to shop wisely for toys, to consider safety before all else,’’ Borstad said.

This week’s Consumer Tip is a 1-minute, 56-second video and can be found on the County web site’s main page under News and Events: Consumer Public Service Announcement Videos. Individual videos are less than two minutes in length and include tips for buying gas, hiring home improvement contractors, avoiding identity theft, buying and selling precious metals, telemarketing calls, international lotteries, internet fraud, credit card debt, buying or leasing a car, and now ordering prescriptions.

This video is the 11th and final to be presented online by the Freeholders in a continuing effort to educate consumers in how to get what they pay for and not become victims of consumer crimes.

The public service videos address some of the most common complaints filed to Borstad’s office. A new Consumer Tip has been made available each Monday. Also, viewers are able to respond with feedback and request other topics regarding consumer complaints that could be addressed in future videos. Once posted, the videos will remain on the site.

“This is information that is worth repeating,’’ Jordan said. “Recording these messages as public service announcements and posting them to the County web site is another way we can make this important information available to our residents.’’

The schedule has been:

Sept. 15 - Buying Gas
Sept. 22 - Home Improvement Contractors
Sept. 29 - Identity Theft
Oct. 6 - Buying and Selling Precious Metals
Oct. 13 - Telemarketing Fraud
Oct. 20 - International Lotteries
Oct. 27 – Internet Fraud
Nov. 3 - Credit Card Debt
Nov. 10 - Buying A Car
Nov. 17 - Prescription Drugs
Nov. 21 - Toy Safety

Schools and civic organizations can request copies of the videos, or printed material on these or many other consumer issues by calling 609-265-5054.

The videos were recorded and produced by the Burlington County College Video Services Department.

According to the Federal Trade Commission, the number of reported victims of consumer fraud continues to rise each year, with 30.2 million Americans having filed complaints in 2006.

“The Consumer Tips videos take only minutes to watch, but they might be able to save you hundreds of hours of aggravation as well as much of your hard-earned money,’’ Borstad said.

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Author: Press Release--Burlington County

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