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Holiday Toy Safety


Screen Shot 2015-12-03 at 10.23.28 AMGood news! Toy recalls are at a seven-year low! Even so, it’s important for parents to use caution when selecting toys for their children.

The organization World Against Toys Causing Harm (WATCH) has issued its annual list of 10 Worst Toys for the holiday season. (If you were thinking about buying your kids Poo-Dough, you might want to reconsider.) Their list includes realistic-looking guns, toys for small children with choking hazards that come off too easily, and ride-on-type toys that encourage use without safety gear.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission encourages shoppers to follow these steps when choosing and giving toys:

  • Read labels and choose toys appropriate for the child’s age
  • Include proper safety gear with riding toys
  • Keep toys with small magnets away from small children

The CPSC has also produced a quick guide with more tips, such as:

  • Avoid toys with cords for very young children
  • Supervise children when using toys like electric trains
  • Be careful about toys that make loud noises, and don’t use them too close to the ear
  • Teach children to put toys away properly to avoid tripping/slipping injuries
  • Dispose of damaged toys

Reading labels, following directions, and maintaining supervision can help keep your kids safe this holiday season.

Thousands of Lives Saved in 2014


Gen 3 seatbelt bucklesEach year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration releases a list of lives saved due to seat belts, child restraints, motorcycle helmets, and drinking laws. NHTSA has just released the results for 2014.

The study estimates that in 2014:

  • 12,802 people 5 and older were saved by seat belts
  • 252 children 4 and under were saved by child restraints
  • 2,396 people 13 and over were saved by frontal airbags
  • 1,669 people were saved by motorcycle helmets

That’s a lot of people still alive today thanks to safety measures. Imagine how many people would have been saved with 100% compliance!

Actually, NHTSA has numbers for that, too. If everyone would have worn seat belts, and additional 2,814 lives would have been saved. Motorcycle helmets would have saved another 660 people.

We recently wrote about how 2015 was shaping up to be the deadliest driving year since 2007. We’ll have to wait a while to see if that’s true. In the meantime, make sure you and your family don’t become a statistic. Seat belts and helmets do save lives.


Giving Tuesday: SafetyBeltSafe U.S.A


We have spent a lot of time promoting carseat sales over the last shopping week, and we thank all of our readers for supporting us by using our links to Amazon and other retailers! We love giving advice and always appreciate your patronage-)

But now for Giving Tuesday, we would like to remind you of a great non-profit organization for child passenger safety. If you have charitable donations to make before the end of the year, please consider SafetyBeltSafe U.S.A in your plans.

Please also visit and Like them on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SafetyBeltSafeUSA

You may donate via Paypal or support them through Amazon Smile. If you are a member or a child passenger safety technician, now is the time to renew for 2016!


SafetyBeltSafe U.S.A. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit agency:

SafetyBeltSafe U.S.A. is the national, non-profit organization dedicated to child passenger safety. Our mission is to help reduce the number of serious and fatal traffic injuries suffered by children by promoting the correct, consistent use of safety seats and safety belts.

Founded in 1980, SafetyBeltSafe U.S.A. is nationally recognized for program excellence, training, and up-to-date technical materials. We provide consultation to advocates, parents, business leaders, the media, and professionals working in the fields of health care, traffic safety, and education.

SafetyBeltSafe U.S.A. invites you to subscribe to our Automatic Update Service or join our organization as an individual or group member. All subscribers receive the bi-monthly SafetyBeltSafe News. Automatic Update mailings are triggered by the announcement of a new recall and include the current recall list plus other new materials developed by SafetyBeltSafe U.S.A.

What’s the Greatest Risk to Teens’ Safety?


My teen driving - eek!If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you know that car crashes are the leading safety hazard for young children. But what is the greatest safety risk for teens? Drugs? Alcohol? Bullying?

Nope, it’s still cars, and most people don’t know it.

A recent survey by the National Safety Council found that 76 percent of parents weren’t aware that car crashes are the main threat to teens’ safety, and even fewer enforce habits that would help to prevent crashes. Lack of experience and poor decision-making skills lead to crashes, especially in a teen’s first year of driving.

According to the NSC, the top five risks regarding teen driving are:

  • Impaired driving. In 2011, one million teens drove after drinking.
  • Driving at night. Teens are nearly twice as likely to have a fatal crash after dark.
  • Driving with young passengers (siblings or friends). The fatal crash risk increases 44 percent when other young people are in the car.
  • A lack of practice. NHTSA recommends that parents spend at least 50 hours supervising their teens’ driving, but 44 percent don’t.
  • Distracted driving. Distracted driving, including phone use, is responsible for 58 percent of teenage crashes.

How can you make your teens safer? It’s not always easy or possible to control what a teenager does, but supervision, discussing risks, and enforcing rules can go a long way. Remember to set a good example by practicing safe driving yourself. If you need more guidance, NHTSA and SafeKids have teen driving resources.

You can also check out our recommendations for relatively inexpensive cars that would make good choices for teens. A safe car doesn’t mean you or your teen can be more lax, but it might help if they (or someone else) make a bad decision.