Pediatricians: Small parts, toy packaging can be dangerous to children

MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Small parts can be the most dangerous part of any toy given this holiday season. With kids unwrapping gifts in just a few days, pediatricians want to make sure your family enjoys the holidays without worry.

Chocking is a main concern when it comes to children and toys. Pediatricians explained some toys can still be dangerous even when they’re not in a child’s mouth. Dr. Christy Peterson from the Children’s Hospital, Navicent Health said the best advice she can give any parent is to supervise your children while they play.

After the paper is torn off, kids are ready to enjoy their new toys.

“Toys are important for development and toys with pieces are important for creativity,” said Dr. Peterson. 

It’s all fun and games until you need to take a trip to the emergency room.

“Most of the toys are labeled with the age appropriate advice, so take that and think about the age of the child and buy a toy that’s appropriate for that age,” explained Dr. Peterson.

Dr. Peterson added it’s especially important if the child is three years old or younger.

“Children are more likely to put little, small objects in their mouths. They can swallow them or inhale them and that can cause serious problems. Most of the toys that have small parts are labeled as not for children under three years,” explained Dr. Peterson.

Even the packaging the toy comes in can be dangerous.

“It can be torn apart or ripped apart and small pieces can be put in the mouth,” said Dr. Peterson.

The pediatrician also advised parents to be cautious with toys that make noise.

“We always cringe at the thought of our children getting a drum set or something for Christmas and how it’s going to be loud for us, but really, it’s also damaging to the child’s ears as well, the continual loud noise because they’re so young. To have that exposure, it can definitely damage the hearing,” explained Dr. Peterson.

Supervision is always key, but if your toddler is asking for small building blocks, Dr. Peterson wants you to know there will come a time when you can give your kids the toys they want.
 
“Don’t rush. Development happens. That’s what’s so beautiful about children. They do grow and they do develop and they will be able to get those toys you want to give them. Don’t rush and give them too soon,” advised Dr. Peterson.

Some other safety tips from the Children’s Hospital, Navicent Health are:

  • Look for safety inspection labels
  • Avoid toys that shoot, have parts that fly off, have points or sharp edges
  • Choose study toys that will not break easily
  • Choose crayons and markers that are designated “non-toxic”
  • Toys made from fabric should be labeled as flame resistant or flame retardant. Plush toys should be washable.
  • Include protective equipment with sporting equipment (ex: give a helmet and protective padding when giving a bicycle or skates)
  • Avoid toys with ropes, cords or heating elements
  • Show your children how to use the toy safely
  • Choose a toy that uses lead-free paint

If your child receives any serious injury while playing with a toy, take them to the emergency room. 

Categories: Bibb County, Local News

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