Ask The Pediatrician: Holiday Choking Hazards

It just takes a few blocks to entertain 18-month-old DeAnn Hunsicker.
But mom knows she still has to keep a watchful eye.

Dee says, "Everything she touches goes in her mouth."

From the tree to all the toys, Dr. Clancy McNalley says that temptation only gets greater this time of year. So parents need to be extra careful. You can start by following the age requirements on the toys you buy.

"Dr. McNalley says, "You may think that your child is developed enough to handle it despite what the age ranges says, but usually the age range is there because it has small parts."

Next, look out for games with multiple magnets. They tend to stick together, even if they're swallowed, and have to be surgically removed.

Finally, keep kids away from button batteries. They're often found in electronic toys and ornaments. But if they make their way into your child's stomach, the acid can erode posing serious problems.

So if you have a toy you're not sure about, this is a actually good test. If it can fit inside a toilet paper roll, chances are a child three-years-old or younger could choke on it.

Dee's got it figured out. She says, "If I'm concerned, it just doesn't come into my house."

A good rule of thumb all parents can follow.

And remember to periodically inspect your child's toys. What might have been safe to begin with might not be anymore.

About the Author...
Serese Cole
Serese is no stranger to the Midwest. She was born and raised in Kansas City and after years of moving from state to state - has called Nebraska home the last decade.
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