Toy safety tips offered by Carilion Children’s Safe Kids Coordinator

Published: Dec. 20, 2022 at 8:23 AM EST
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - With the holiday season, some kids might be expecting some toys from Santa this year.

Carilion Children’s Safe Kids Coordinator Jill Lucas Drakeford said the most important thing you want to keep in mind when giving a child a toy is that it’s age-appropriate.

We’ve all seen on the side of the toy where there is an age recommendation, and she said it’s important to follow that.

When getting something with wheels, like a bike or scooter, it’s helpful to get the safety equipment like a helmet to go with it.

“If a child ingests a button battery, they are very thin. They don’t really pose a choking hazard, because they are so thin, but they can start to emit acid fairly quickly and that can make them really, really sick… and then magnets, too. So again, a child ingesting one magnet is not that big of an issue, but if they ingest two, at some point from different types of toys, they can connect together and then they cause perforations in the intestines and bowel, so we want to make sure that you’re really watching those kids and make sure you are getting those toys picked up,” said Lucas Drakeford.

She said typically this time of year, the most common things they see are ingestion and choking.

“Make sure especially your little kids, if they are grabbing bows, and getting things into their mouth, they can get that plastic up over their face or mouth and it can be very dangerous. It could be a suffocation hazard, choking hazards, and for our bitty babies, everybody is getting stuffed animals and toys. An infant under the age of one should never have a stuffed animal in their sleeping space when they are sleeping or nighttime, because it can be a suffocation hazard as well,” said Lucas Drakeford.

Carilion’s Child & Adolescent Psychiatry Inpatient Unit and Carilion Children’s Hospital are still collecting donations for their toy and clothing drive.

Donations can be dropped off at Carilion Children’s Tanglewood Center until December 21.