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Are The Toys & Gifts You Purchase Safe for Children?

Children's Hospital Physicians Encourage Gift Givers to Consider Safety when Purchasing Presents

The holiday season is a wonderful time to give gifts to the children in our lives, but pediatricians at Atrium Health Navicent Beverly Knight Olson Children's Hospital encourage gift givers to exercise caution when selecting presents for little ones.

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, hospital emergency rooms in the U.S. treated approximately 254,200 toy-related injuries in 2015, the most recent year of the report, with approximately 73 percent of those younger than age 15.

"People are excited about gift giving at this time of year. We all want to give our children and grandchildren the new toys they desire, but shoppers need to remember several safety factors before they make their purchases," said Rogelio Dela Cruz, M.D., Medical Director of Pediatric Emergency Center, Atrium Health Navicent.

The pediatricians at Atrium Health Navicent Beverly Knight Olson Children's Hospital offer the following tips for shoppers:

· Look for age appropriate labels on toys. The toy should suit the age and individual skills and abilities of the child who will receive it, especially if the recipient is younger than three years of age.

· Look for safety inspection labels.

· Avoid toys that shoot, have parts that fly off, have points or sharp edges.

· Make sure that toys are not too loud and will not cause hearing damage if the child holds it to his or her ear.

· Choose sturdy toys that will not break easily.

· Choose crayons and markers that are designated "nontoxic."

· Toys made with fabric should be labeled as flame resistant or flame retardant. Plush toys should be washable.

· Include protective equipment with sporting equipment - for example, give a helmet and protective padding when giving a bicycle or skates.

· Toys with magnets and button batteries may cause serious injury or death if swallowed. Do not give gifts that contain these or any small parts to young children.

· Avoid toys with ropes, cords and heating elements.

· Show your children how to use the toy safely, and always supervise children as they play.

In addition, older toys may contain lead based paint. Try to choose toys that use lead free paint. As a precaution, parents should educate themselves on symptoms of lead poisoning and be aware of toys that have been recalled due to lead exposure. Parents should contact a physician if they believe their child has been exposed to lead.

"Toys are a fun and educational part of any child's development. Children thrive when parents, grandparents or other loved ones carefully choose their toys and supervise their play," said Dr. Dela Cruz.

About Atrium Health Navicent

Atrium Health Navicent was incorporated on November 17, 1994, as a nonprofit corporation whose primary purpose is to coordinate The Medical Center, Navicent Health and other affiliated entities in their mission of providing a comprehensive continuum of high quality, reasonably priced healthcare services to the region. Atrium Health Navicent has 970 beds for medical, surgical, rehabilitation and hospice purposes. The health system includes The Medical Center, Navicent Health, a nationally recognized tertiary teaching hospital; Atrium Health Navicent Beverly Knight Olson Children's Hospital, the region's only dedicated pediatric hospital; Atrium Health Navicent Baldwin and Medical Center of Peach County, Atrium Health Navicent, both rural critical access hospitals; Rehabilitation Hospital, Atrium Health Navicent, the region's oldest and most experienced rehabilitation provider; Pine Pointe, Atrium Health Navicent, which provides palliative and hospice care in homes and in its facility; Carlyle Place, Atrium Health Navicent, the area's first continuing care retirement community; Navicent Health Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Atrium Health Navicent; as well as diagnostic and home care services. For more information, please visit