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Protect your children from Christmas-time choking hazards, experts say

Local News

HARLINGEN, Texas (KVEO) — On Christmas Day, millions of kids will be ripping open presents and playing with new toys. Parents need to be mindful that that’s all they’re doing.

While lead paint and sharp metal toys are a thing of the past, parents still need to keep an eye on their young children to make sure they’re not putting anything unsafe into their mouths.

“Kids like to, developmentally, they like to explore,” explained pediatrician Dr. Erwin Sanchez. “They pick up something they put it in their mouths.”

Nowadays, toys in most stores will have the suggested age minimum or age range that toy is intended for. Buying age appropriate toys for young children is important for them to be able to play safely.

Example of a toy that has that features an age minimum in the bottom right corner.

Toddlers and infants have the biggest risk of choking on a small object.

“Any toy with small pieces [you] need to be careful with kids less than four… three, four years old,” said Sanchez.

Choking on small objects isn’t the only concern for young children around the holidays.

In the excitement of opening presents, items that can be toxic if eaten such as batteries or medication could be left out, found by a child and eaten, resulting in that child becoming sick, or possibly even dying if they are not attended to quick enough.

“Button or disk batteries are extremely dangerous,” said Sanchez. “Extremely, extremely dangerous. A lot of children ingest those batteries and they get stuck in the esophagus and they can cause death.”

Sanchez explained that there are many types of medication that are safe for adults to take that are unsafe for children, and that visiting family members may be unaccustomed to a young child around, so remind them to be careful where they leave things.

If you see that your child is choking on something, have someone call 911 and begin giving CPR

To learn how to perform CPR on a child or baby, click this link.

If you fear they have ingested something that may be poisonous, you can call poison control 24 hours a day at (800) 222-1222.

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