MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – As you’re holiday shopping this weekend, it’s important to keep safety in mind. Navicent Health wants to make sure you are being cautious when buying gifts for your little ones.
“Small pieces can definitely be swallowed or more seriously inhaled,” said Dr. Christy Peterson with Beverly Knight Olson Children Hospital Navicent Health.
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, there were an estimated 174,100 toy-related injuries and seven deaths involving children younger than 15 last year.
Dr. Peterson advises you check the packaging of toys.
“Look for something that says ‘for greater than 3 years old’ or some sort of label on them that reminds people of the age appropriateness of the toy,” said Dr. Peterson.
For kids 3 and under, try to avoid getting gifts that don’t involve batteries. If they do, make sure they are tightly secured.
“Toys with batteries are not appropriate for small children,” said Dr. Peterson. “They’re very dangerous and that’s one of the more scary things that we see, is when children have swallowed batteries.”
If your child does swallow something, make sure to let your doctor know immediately.
“If it happened three days ago, and now your child is coughing, has a fever, go ahead and mention the episode, just in case it has to do with a current problem,” said Dr. Peterson.
When in doubt about deciding if a toy is too small, Dr. Peterson says, “If it fits through a toilet paper roll, then it’s probably too small for young children.”
Additional toy safety tips from Navicent Health:
- Avoid toys that shoot, have parts that fly off, have points or sharp edges.
- Make sure that toys are not too loud and will not cause hearing damage if the child holds it to his or her ear.
- Choose sturdy toys that will not break easily.
- Choose crayons and markers that are designated “nontoxic.”
- Toys made with fabric should be labeled as flame resistant or flame retardant. Plush toys should be washable.
- Include protective equipment with sporting equipment – for example, give a helmet and protective padding when giving a bicycle or skates.
- Toys with magnets and button batteries may cause serious injury or death if swallowed. Do not give gifts that contain these or any small parts to young children.
- Avoid toys with ropes, cords and heating elements.
- Show your children how to use the toy safely, and always supervise children as they play.