Mahaska Health Partnership Encourages Toy Safety

Mahaska Health Partnership

Mahaska Health Partnership

MAHASKA COUNTY – December is National Safe Toys and Gifts Month, and Mahaska Health Partnership wants to remind caregivers to be mindful when gifting toys.

According to the the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), there were an estimated 262,300 toy-related injuries treated in hospital emergency departments in 2011. Dr. John O’Brien, Pediatrician at MHP, strongly encourages the public to be mindful of a child’s age when buying toys.

“Children are very curious individuals,” Dr. O’Brien said. “They will put anything in their mouths and very little caution is used when there are exciting new toys involved. It is our responsibility as adults to choose toys that are both age-appropriate and safe.

“Check for the letters “ASTM” on toys before you purchase them,” Dr. O’Brien suggested. “This designation means the product meets the national safety standards set by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM). Also, watch out for toys that seem flimsy or have parts that are easily swallowed. Children can and will break these items, which can cause choking and bodily harm risks.”

While the holiday season is a time meant for joy and celebration, safety must also be a concern. By looking for toys that are sturdy and meant for a specific age group, the risk of an emergency visit is greatly reduced.

“We all want our kids to be happy and healthy. If we work to provide safer toys and keep hazardous items out of reach, some of the stress surrounding the holiday season can be reduced, allowing everyone to enjoy this special time.”

Mahaska Health Partnership, located in Oskaloosa, is a non-profit health system accredited by the Joint Commission. It is guided by its mission to provide exceptional customer service and health improvement, linking the science of medicine with the humanity of compassionate care. For more information about how Mahaska Health Partnership is making healthcare personal, visit



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