Mercy Hospital provides holiday toy safety tips
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - In just two days, kids everywhere will be opening up Christmas gifts eager to start playing right away. Before they do, it’s important to check the toys for small parts and even batteries little ones can get in to.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission requires all toys to meet safety standards for all children that are 12 years and under but some toys bought from overseas or markets can be a hazard. Becky Spain is an Injury Prevention Specialist at Mercy Hospital and is encouraging parents to be mindful when shopping for Christmas presents for little ones.
Spain said while opening gifts can be exciting, what’s inside some of the toys can harm your child if swallowed like batteries, magnets or marbles. If a child swallows a lithium battery, the moisture inside of a child’s body activates the battery, which can burn the esophagus or insides of a child. Spain said if your child swallows a lithium battery to call 911 immediately because medical assistance is needed to remove it.
Another thing to keep an eye on is magnets. She said when ingested the two magnets can connect and tear holes in the intestines. Spain said when Christmas is over to get rid of packaging pieces and to keep toys stored by age groups. Also don’t’ forget a helmet or pads if your child is getting a new bike, scooter or skateboard.
”A lot of times it’s a sibling story that they’re getting into that’s not age appropriate for them,” said Spain. “For parents to explain to their children that this has magnets, or this has batteries, so we need to make sure anytime you’re playing with this, you’re away from little brother or sister, or that you’re in an area where I can see you and supervise. Those are good rules and guidelines to set for for family.”
Last year over Christmas , Mercy treated one child that swallowed a marble and another who had an eye injury from wrapping paper. In 2019, they treated a child who had a toy stuck up their nose along with a scooter, trampoline, skateboard, and shopping cart injury. In 2018, Mercy had a patient with candy in their nose and candy in a patient’s ear.
Spain said to freshen up on CPR and administering the Heimlich maneuver and to call 911 if there’s an emergency.
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