Time for toys…and time for cheer
During the holiday season, toy safety is always a concern. While most people focus on the age recommendations for toys and the potential for choking hazards, it is important to consider the poisoning risk of toys being purchased. The West Virginia Poison Center recommends these tips for children’s gifts.
1. Check the list. Even with safety measures in place, some toys are recalled. Before purchasing a toy, check to see if it is on a recall list.
2. If necessary, know the toy ingredients. Some toys, such as chemistry kits or art supplies, may contain an ingredient list. This list is extremely important if a child would become poisoned by the toy. For arts and crafts products, look for the ACMI seal to ensure they meet U.S. safety standards.
3. Liquids may be a concern. If a toy contains liquid, check the toy to ensure the liquid is not leaking, or isn’t likely to begin leaking. The liquid in some toys is unknown and may be a danger if the toy breaks.
4. Don’t forget about lead. Even with safety measures that lessen the chance of lead poisoning, antique toys and collectibles (especially toys with chipping or worn paint), lead bullets, and lead sinkers for fishing may still put a child at risk for lead exposure. Keep these items out of reach of children.
5. Beware of batteries. Disc batteries, also called ‘button’ or ‘coin’ batteries, can cause severe injury or death if swallowed. Ensure children’s toys have a secured compartment for batteries (such as a compartment that requires a screw driver to open).
6. Dangers of magnets. Some children’s toys and desk toys may be made up of or contain small, high-powered magnets. These objects can also cause severe injury or death if swallowed. If there are young children in the home, do not purchase magnetic toys or desk novelties made out of magnets.
7. Accidents happen. Even when safety precautions are followed, accidents happen. Keep the West Virginia Poison Center number (1-800-222-1222) near. Consider adding this number as a contact in your cell phone.
Poisoned? Not sure? Medical experts at the West Virginia Poison Center are available 24/7, even during the holidays, to answer calls about poison information and emergencies.
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. Located in Charleston, WV, the WVPC is a part of the West Virginia University-Charleston Division and located next to CAMC Memorial Hospital. Toll-free:1-800-222-1222. Website:www.wvpoisoncenter.org.
For more information or to arrange an interview, please call Carissa McBurney at (304) 347-1379 or (304) 552-6338.