New York, NY, December 07, 2007 --(PR.com
)-- In addition to all of the recent toy recalls, the holidays bring the likelihood of toy-related injuries and hazards, as well as teens getting more involved in cyber-bullying and being approached by online predators.
According to the Wall Street Journal, 1,200 children's products were tested by a group of consumer and environmental-health organizations. The test found that more than a third of the items contained lead and other dangerous chemicals, including mercury, cadmium and arsenic.
Love Our Children USA Founder and Chief Executive Officer Ross Ellis said “Lead in toys has become a growing problem. Additionally, not all toys are safe. Many contain small parts that could be choking hazards, while others make loud noises that can cause hearing impairments. And with cyber-bullying on the rise and kids spending more time on the Internet, parents should be especially diligent. This social online cruelty used by kids and teens in the forms of e-mail, cell phone; pager text messages, instant messaging, defamatory personal Web sites, and defamatory online personal polling Web sites, or more recently by an adult posing as a teen, is harmful and can be deadly .”
Parents should follow these Five Tips for Holiday Toy Safety:
1. Select... Choose toys according to a child's age, interests, and skill level. Be sure to check the warning labels for safety information.
2. Maintain... Check all toys regularly for damage (such as sharp edges, small parts.) Return, repair or discard broken toys.
3. Supervise... Watch your child while they play.
4. Check … For toy recalls at www.recalls.gov
5. Take Precautions … Not all toys are safe. Many contain small parts that could be choking hazards, while others make loud noises that can cause hearing impairments.
To help keep track of your children’s toys parent’s can visit www.loveourchildrenusa.org where they can download a toy safety checklist.
Five Tips for Parents on Keeping Kids Safe from Cyber-Bullying During the Holidays:
1. Communicate with your child. Talk about the issue. Don't overreact or threaten to ban them from the Internet. Let them know that they can talk to you about anything and that you will not punish or blame them – that you are there to help them.
2. Set up Google and Yahoo alerts on your kids name, cell phone number and email address. Every time your child's name comes up, you'll get an e-mail message.
3. Teach your kids to keep their passwords private, even from their closest friends. If they've shared their passwords, have them change them immediately.
4. When visiting a social networking site or chatroom, kids should always use a nickname and never give out their real name, address, age, phone number, mobile phone, school, whether they are a girl or boy, and never send or publish their photos. If someone writes something harmful or inappropriate, they should log off immediately.
5. Be on the lookout for warning signs of depression. If your child becomes quiet or withdrawn, or doesn’t want to go to school or to after-school activities, talk to a guidance counselor or school psychologist immediately.
Children and teens must be kept safe at all times. But the holidays pose more opportunity for hazards and danger. Taking steps to keep children of all ages safe is the most important thing a parent can do.
About Love Our Children USA
In its ninth year, Love Our Children USA is the national nonprofit leader that honors, respects and protects children. Its mission is to break the cycle of violence against children. Love Our Children USA has become ‘the go-to’ prevention organization for all forms of violence and neglect against children in the U.S. It works to eliminate behaviors that keep children from reaching their potential. It redefines parenting and creates kid success by promoting prevention strategies and positive changes in parenting and family attitudes and behaviors through public education. It works to empower and support children, teens, parents and families through information, resources, advocacy, and online youth mentoring. Its goal is to keep children safe and strengthen families -- Its message is positive ... one of prevention and hope.
Contact: Media Relations
Love Our Children USA
1.888.347.KIDS (5437) / 212.629.2099