Toy Safety - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

12/9/02 - Tyler

Toy Safety

   What looks like child's play could become a parent's worse nightmare and could turn into  choking hazard. Experts say the most common mistake a parent will make is not buying age appropriate toys.

   "The rule is, the younger the child, the larger the toy," says Debbie Lauman of Stepping Stone School in Tyler.

   Toys that are great for toddlers and two year olds aren't for others and vise-versa. Even toys you think are safe, labeled for kids six and under can end up on a recall list. Each year, the Consumer Product Safety puts out a new list urging parents to take a look even after they've taken the toys home. Choking is the leading cause of toy related deaths. A "choke test" is probably a good thing to do for kids three and under. If your toy can fit through a toilet paper tube, your child can choke on it.

   Trauma Physician, Luis Fernandez has seen the worse case scenario of a toy gone bad, "Airway obstruction can be fatal in children and if it's not fatal, it can cause severe brain injury because of loss of oxygen."

   Buying the right toy for the right child isn't enough. Dr. Fernandez has seen a boy die from accidentally shooting himself with a B-B gun, "The child who used it wasn't the child who it was intended for, it was a younger brother, it wasn't appropriately secured."

   That's why Debbie says, no toy is ever safe without adult supervision.

   Jennifer Brice, reporting.

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