During the hustle and bustle of holiday shopping and gift giving, people often focus on the newest and coolest toys on the market this year. However, the newest and coolest toys are not always the safest toys.
Choking on small parts is not the only risk toys pose. The West Virginia Poison Center reminds shoppers to be mindful of poison hazards when choosing children's gifts this holiday season.
- Some toys may contain lead. Be careful when purchasing costume jewelry, crafting kits, crayons, and toys made in other countries. Always stay up to date on toy recalls. (can we provide the website here?)
- Many toys and other items (e.g., musical gift cards and books, remote controls, ornaments) contain small disc (button) batteries. These batteries can cause severe injury or death if swallowed. Do not allow children to play with or have access to items containing button batteries unless the batteries are secured in compartments that require a screw driver for opening.
- Products containing tiny magnets, such as desk novelty items and magnetic toy sets, are not recommended for children. If more than one magnet is swallowed, the magnets can pinch off sections of the esophagus, stomach, or intestines leading to blockages, infections, and permanent injury or death. Do not purchase magnetic toy sets or desk novelty items if children are in the home.
- Avoid water expanding toys that start off as small objects easily swallowed. If swallowed, water in the child's stomach will cause them to expand many times larger than their initial size. This can lead to blockages, tears in the stomach lining, and permanent injury or death.
- Check the ingredients in children's science kits and chemistry sets. Follow specific age recommendations closely and only purchase if they will be used with adult supervision.
If you think a child may have been poisoned by one of these items, call the West Virginia Poison Center immediately at 1-800-222-1222.
The West Virginia Poison Center provides comprehensive emergency poison information, prevention and educational resources to West Virginians 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. The WVPC is staffed by nurses, pharmacists and physicians with special training in treatment of poisonings. The website is www.wvpoisoncenter.org.