RWJBarnabas Health Recognizes Toy Safety Month

Eatontown, NJ, December 23, 2020 – Toys and games can be fun for all ages but with the gift-giving season in full swing and December recognized as Toy Safety awareness month, the experts from RWJBarnabas Health want to ensure that parents and adults are taking proper precautions when considering which toys to give children.

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in 2019, an estimated 224,200 toy-related injuries for all ages were treated in U.S. hospital emergency departments. Of those injuries, an estimated 73 percent happened to children 14 and younger, 70 percent happened to children 12 and younger and 35 percent happened to children four and younger.

“Toys can present many different risks including choking hazards, eye injuries, lacerations, contusions and abrasions,” said Nicole Maguire, DO, FACEP, Program Director for Emergency Medicine at Community Medical Center. “Before you make any purchases you should first and foremost consider the age-range of the toys. Consider the child’s age and development before purchasing and read the instructions and warning labels to make sure it’s right for the child you’re shopping for.”

Additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic has added even more risk to an already stressful season with the increased need to shop for gifts online.

“Buyers must pay extra close attention to the product description when purchasing from websites and read the box once the product arrives to ensure the description was accurate to ensure optimal safety,”

added Victor M. Almeida, DO, Chair, Department of Emergency Medicine, Monmouth Medical Center and Monmouth Medical Center Southern Campus. “The holiday season can be hectic, but we need to remain diligent about providing the safest possible toys for children.”

To further avoid toy-related injuries, the experts from RWJBarnabas Health suggest:

  • Check to make sure there are not any small parts or potential choking hazards
  • Keep toys meant for older children with small pieces away from younger siblings
  • Inspect toys before purchasing
  • Provide a Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) certified helmet with any bikes, skateboards, scooters or other riding equipment
  • Store toys after play in a bin or container without holes or hinges that can catch little hands and fingers
  • Look for toys labeled “ASTM”, a designation that means the product meets the national safety standards set by the American Society for Testing and Materials
  • Avoid toys that shoot or have parts that fly off
  • Avoid toys with sharp or rigid points or rods
  • Buy toys that will withstand hard impact

Parents and guardians should also stay up to date on toy recalls. Safe Kids, which is led by The Unterberg Children’s Hospital at Monmouth Medical Center, compiles product recalls specific to children and send twice monthly email alerts for recent recalls. Go to for additional information about product recalls related to kids. Please visit for more information. Safe Kids Monmouth / Ocean provides dedicated and caring staff, operation support and other resources to assist in achieving one common goal: keeping kids safe. Based on the needs of the community, the Safe Kids coalition implements evidence-based programs, such as car-seat checkups, toy recall information, safety workshops and sports clinics, that help parents and caregivers prevent childhood injuries.

About RWJBarnabas Health
RWJBarnabas Health is the largest, most comprehensive academic healthcare system in New Jersey, with a service area covering nine counties with 5 million people. The system includes 11 acute care hospitals – Clara Maass Medical Center in Belleville, Community Medical Center in Toms River, Jersey City Medical Center in Jersey City, Monmouth Medical Center in Long Branch, Monmouth Medical Center Southern Campus in Lakewood, Newark Beth Israel Medical Center in Newark, RWJUH in New Brunswick, RWJUH Somerset in Somerville, RWJUH Hamilton, RWJUH Rahway and Saint Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston; three acute care children’s hospitals and a leading pediatric rehabilitation hospital with a network of outpatient centers, a freestanding 100-bed behavioral health center, two trauma centers, a satellite emergency department, ambulatory care centers, geriatric centers, the state’s largest behavioral health network, comprehensive home care and hospice programs, fitness and wellness centers, retail pharmacy services, a medical group, multi-site imaging centers and an accountable care organization.

RWJBarnabas Health is New Jersey’s largest private employer – with more than 34,000 employees, 9,000 physicians and 1,000 residents and interns – and routinely captures national awards for outstanding quality and safety. RWJBarnabas Health recently announced a partnership with Rutgers University to create New Jersey’s largest academic healthcare system. The collaboration will align RWJBarnabas Health with Rutgers’ education, research and clinical activities, including those at the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey – the state's only NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center – and Rutgers University Behavioral Health Care.

The RWJBarnabas Health Southern Region spans Monmouth and Ocean county and includes Community Medical Center, Monmouth Medical Center and Monmouth Medical Center Southern Campus and an expansive network of primary and specialty care offices and outpatient centers. The Southern Region establishes a single team focused on all aspects of care and further positions RWJBarnabas Health as a national leader in academic medicine, integrating services across the region to achieve safe, high quality and cost effective care and improving the health of the communities served in Monmouth and Ocean county.

CONTACT: Carrie Cristello