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Toy SafetyMIDDLETOWN, N.Y. (December 17, 2014) — Middletown Medical’s Pediatric Express Center, Orange County’s only walk-in Urgent Care services specifically for children 18 and under, reminds consumers that December is “Safe Toy & Gift Month” – and for good reason.

According to Dr. Maria Reyes, a Board Certified Pediatrician and a member of the Pediatric Express staff, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission recently reported that hospital emergency rooms treated an estimated 251,700 toy-related injuries in 2013 throughout the United States, with 72% of those people less than 15 years of age.

Also in 2013, toymakers recalled over 19 million toys worldwide because of safety concerns such as lead paint and small magnets.

“We are constantly striving to educate parents of being diligent in their selection of toys, particularly during this holiday season,” said Reyes. “And just following a few basic safety tips can make a world of difference when it comes to child safety.”

According to Dr. Reyes, here are the most pressing safety tips to follow, for starters:

— Inspect all toys before purchasing, and avoid those that shoot or include parts that fly off.

— Toys should have no sharp edges or points and should be sturdy enough to withstand impact without breaking, being crushed, or being pulled apart easily.

— Be diligent about inspecting toys your child has received. Check them for age, skill level, and developmental appropriateness before allowing them to be played with.

— Look for labels that assure you the toys have passed a safety inspection – “ATSM” means the toy has met the American Society for Testing and Materials standards.

— Do NOT give toys with small parts (including magnets and “button” batteries which can cause serious injury or death if ingested) to young children as they tend to put things in their mouths, increasing the risk of choking. If the piece can fit inside a toilet paper roll, it is not appropriate for kids under age three.

— Do NOT give toys with ropes and cords or heating elements

— Do NOT give crayons and markers unless they are labeled “nontoxic”.

Safe Toy & Gift Month is sponsored each December by Prevent Blindness, the nation’s leading volunteer eye health and safety organization dedicated to fighting blindness and saving sight. For their complete guidelines on toy safety, please visit www.preventblindness.org/safe-toy-checklist.

Middletown Medical’s Pediatric Express, located in Chester (ShopRite Plaza), is the only such service in Orange County, offering walk-in Urgent Care services for children 18 and under, with a member of Middletown Medical’s renowned Pediatric Team on site until 9 p.m. on weeknights. Pediatric Express provides treatment for illnesses, such as fever, ear infections, strep throat, asthma problems, and injuries, including those requiring splints and sutures. For more information, call (845) 469-2692.

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