CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) -Its always fun to see a child's eyes light up with happiness as they open up their presents to find their favorite toy.
3 year old Bentley and 5 year old Palace always make the most of playtime.
Their mom Shannain Washington who’s a former head start teacher says she loves toys that not only keep the kids busy and engaged but most importantly are also age appropriate.
“With them still being babies they tend to put things in their mouths and I don’t want them to choke on small items that might break off so that’s really important to me,” Washington says.
Washington says she prefers to do most of her shopping online.
She says not being able to touch and feel the product makes reviews and product descriptions even more important.
“Reading and looking at reviews and doing research or asking friends who have kids," Washington says. " I think its important to ask questions and look and shop around."
Dr. Sam Soutter who is a surgeon at Summerville Medical Center agrees.
He says in the past he has seen upwards of 8 kids in the ER during a holiday season due to some popular toys that can pose a risk.
“Smaller toys can be inserted into ears, noses, or even into the esophagus and worst of all in the airway,”Dr. Soutter says. Its important Dr. Soutter says for parents to make sure the pieces of a toy for children younger than 5.
Kids should be no bigger than that child’s fist and make sure to protect younger kids from older siblings toys. He says even simple things like button batteries used in many toys and watches can be dangerous.
“Kids swallow them and the wet saliva in the esophagus can cause these buttons to burn through the esophagus,”Dr. Soutter says.
“I’m more around the safe side so as long as he’s good with a puzzle I’m good with it," Washington says. “I’m sure you can’t get much harm done with a puzzle.”.
Dr. Soutter also says another thing to look out for when it comes to toys is those that might contain lead.
He says the majority of toys made in china contain this toxic dangerous metal so you might want to Check the manufacturer's name through a consumer reporting agency or on the internet.
Dr. Soutter says see if their products have had recalls for high lead content.