Letter to Early Intervention Service Providers - Minimizing Children's Exposures to Poisoning, Choking, Lead and other Hazards from Toys and Other Products - November 2009

November 2009

Dear Early Intervention Service Provider:

In 2008, the Bureau of Early Intervention (BEI) issued the document Health and Safety Standards for the Early Intervention Program. The document provided guidance to Early Intervention (EI) providers for the delivery of EI services in a manner that protects the health and safety of children. A copy of the standards was sent to all EI providers in May 2008, and is available on the BEI Web page at http://www.health.ny.gov/healthandsafety. (It is suggested that you bookmark this page for future reference.)

This letter is a reminder of the actions that EI providers are expected to take to minimize children's exposures to poisoning, choking, lead and other hazards from toys and other products. Health and Safety General Standard No. 8 provides guidance for protecting the health and safety of children with respect to the equipment, materials, or other items used during the delivery of EI services. Providers must ensure that equipment, materials, and/or toys used by the provider are:

  • Appropriate for the child's developmental age and skill level, and
  • In good condition, free of lead, and are cleaned regularly and disinfected at least weekly (or more often if needed).

The New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) posts children's hazardous product recalls online at http://www.health.ny.gov/environmental/children/recalls.htm . In addition, the Consumer Product Safety Commission posts recalls online at http://www.cpsc.gov .

To prevent children from being potentially exposed to hazards from any toys, all EI providers must take the following steps:

  • Check the toys in your facilities against the recall lists and remove recalled toys immediately.
  • Put recalled toys in places where children cannot use them until the toys can be returned or destroyed as directed. Because each recall is different, it is recommended that you check the recall notices to learn how to return the toy for a refund or replacement.

EI providers who find recalled toys containing lead in their facilities should contact their municipality's Early Intervention Official. Providers should also notify BEI by contacting Mary Lou Clifford at (518) 473-7016 or at bei@health.ny.gov . In addition, EI providers must advise parents to contact their family pediatricians to assess the need for lead testing. Local health departments are a valuable resource for information on childhood lead poisoning prevention. Parents or guardians should contact their local health departments if a child does not have health insurance or their insurance does not cover blood lead tests. Local health department staff can help the child get a blood lead test and also assist parents to get health insurance for their children.

For additional information on childhood lead poisoning, visit NYSDOH's Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Web site at http://www.health.ny.gov/environmental/lead/. If you have any questions or need additional information, contact your local health department Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program or the New York State Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program at (518) 402-5706. If you have any questions regarding the health and safety standards, please contact Mary Lou Clifford at (518) 473-7016 or by e-mail at bei@health.ny.gov .


Rachel deLong, M.D., Director
Bureau of Child and Adolescent Health

Bradley Hutton, M.P.H., Director
Bureau of Early Intervention