'Tis the Season for Toy Safety

Published 12/18 2013 08:07PM

Updated 12/18 2013 08:08PM

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Toys are an important part of a child's development, but it’s also important to be aware of the dangers lurking in many toys and children's products.

Kids end up in the emergency room after swallowing an object, placing it in their nostrils or ears and sometimes they have to be surgically removed.

"As a parent I know that and as a toy manufacturer I’m aware of that,” says Brian Turtle, founder of Endless Games. “And we want to make sure that parents are aware of what's in the package. Where there are small parts we like to put that right on the box, in fact we are required to do that."

Here are some simple tips to avoid that trip to the hospital:

Always check the age recommendation for toys and only buy what's appropriate for your child.

Check for small or loose parts that could cause choking hazard.

Plastic sacks could cause suffocation.

Beware of product recall information.

Battery operated toys should be secured so child can't get to the batteries.

Small magnets on the fridge are also dangerous if swallowed it can cause major damage to a child's intestines that can sometimes be deadly.

Children under five should avoid marbles, coins, tiny balls, hard candy, gum, or any small round objects that can lodge in the airway and cut off breathing.

Some other items to avoid are buttons, beads, balloons, scissors or lighters. It's best to just keep those things out of sight.

"Even when it's something you wouldn't even think about like a dice or a pawn in a board game,” says Turtle. “Just be careful with small parts specifically."

When your child is old enough to enjoy bikes, skateboards or scooters, helmets are a necessity.

Preventable injuries are the number one killer of children in the United States.

If you follow some basic safety guidelines, you can help protect your child and avoid serious injury. You can even save their life.

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