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West Virginia Poison Control Center warns of toy safety ahead of vacation

SOUTH CHARLESTON, Va. (WSAZ) – With the Christmas holidays in just a few days, the West Virginia Poison Control Center is urging gift-shoppers to be aware of certain toys that may present dangers to some children.

“With regard to poisons and toys, many exposures to poisonings can occur with regard to toys. One of the most important are button cells, they can also be referred to as disk or button cell batteries, ”said Carissa McBurney, of the West Virginia Poison Control Center. “These are the little, round, silver batteries that some children often look like candy or something that can easily fit in their mouths and is found in many toys.”

McBurney said that one thing to watch out for in toys is a secure battery compartment that requires a screw to open. She said if a child swallowed a button battery it could lead to serious injury or death.

“Even non-toys can have those button batteries, the little candles that run on button batteries or even musical greeting cards and often these don’t have secure compartments,” she said. “So you want to make sure the kids don’t grab them and put them in their mouths. “

The poisons expert also warned of the risk of suffocation, as the center also takes calls regarding these situations. Small, powerful magnets can damage the esophagus or stomach if more than one is swallowed.

“One of the great things to watch out for, when it comes to choking children, is making sure you only get items in the recommended child’s age range.”

The WVPCC says some vintage toys may contain lead, which should be kept out of the reach of young children.

For items such as art supplies, chemistry or science kits, the center urges parents or guardians to keep ingredient lists in case of a poison emergency. McBurney said the first thing the center will ask when called for a poison emergency is the ingredients listed in the products.

“We get calls all year round about some toys, especially kids playing with mud, or play-doh or chemistry sets or art supplies, any that the kids can eat or drink,” said McBurney at WSAZ. “But of course during the holiday season there is an increase in the number of kids receiving toys, so there is an increase in calls. After the holidays we usually see an increase in button cell batteries or those magnets I mentioned before.

Doctors, nurses or pharmacists are on standby 24 hours a day, seven days a week, year round for anyone who may have a poisonous emergency.

“There are tons of toys out there. The best thing to do is look at the recall lists. There are callback lists all over the internet, and you can just check it out if you have any concerns, ”McBurney said.

If you need to speak with the center, you can call them at 800-222-1222 or visit their website in by typing here.

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