North Carolina Department of Justice
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AG Cooper offers parents tips on holiday gift safety

Release date: 12/22/2011

Raleigh: Parents can help make sure their kids’ holiday gifts are safe by taking a few simple steps, Attorney General Roy Cooper said today.
 
“Parents work hard to find the best deals on toys and other holiday gifts,” Cooper said. “But it’s also important to make sure gifts are safe and age-appropriate for kids.”
 
In a few days, holiday packages will be unwrapped and children will start playing with their new toys. Parents need to do their homework to check that gifts from friends, family members and even Santa don’t include items that have been recalled as unsafe for children or that need parental supervision to be used properly, Cooper warned.
 
To check out gifts’ safety:
 
  • Read labels. Look for labels that list the appropriate age for some toys. It may not be safe to let younger children play with toys designed for older children due to choking hazards and other risks. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, it is not safe to let children under age three play with toys with small parts or pieces, and children under age eight should avoid toys with sharp edges and points.
 
  • Study instructions. Before letting your kids play with a new toy or gadget, read the instructions carefully. Go over how to use the item with your kids. Decide whether or not kids will be allowed to play with it unsupervised. If you aren’t comfortable that your kids can use the item safely, don’t let them play with it.
 
 
  • Remember online safety.  If Santa brings your family a new tablet, laptop, phone, or other device that gets Internet access, make sure you enable filtering software or parental monitoring. Before your kids use their new gadgets to go online, remind them not to post or share personal information or photos that could fall into the wrong hands. For more tips on keeping children safe on the Internet, visit www.ncdoj.gov.
 
  • Make sure computer and video games are age-appropriate. Computer and video games are popular holiday gifts, but not all games are created for kids. To check which games are age-appropriate, check the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) ratings.
 
  • Watch out for expensive app downloads. Kids may be eager to download applications to their new electronic devices, but be aware that some supposedly free apps can actually end up costing you quite a bit of money. Using any device or account that is linked to a credit card can lead to unexpected costs, especially if it isn’t secured to prevent purchases when children use it.
 



Contact:  Noelle Talley (919) 716-6413