MOUNT MORRIS — As the holidays are quickly approaching, it is important to remember to buy toys that are safe, free of lead, and securely put together for your children’s safety.


Please take time to teach children how to use their toys to prevent potential injuries. Knowing what to buy for your children is the best way to keep your children safe. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is offering these tips to help parents make safe consumer choices for their children:


• Make sure the toy is specified for the age of your child. Government regulations on toy diameter and length will prevent your baby or toddler from choking. Never leave a baby unattended with toys and games containing small parts.


• Toys that plug into an electrical outlet are not recommended for children under 10. Prevent burns and electrical shocks by buying battery-operated toys for younger kids. Make sure that the battery is in a secured compartment that cannot be accessed by the child.


• Buttons, batteries, and magnets pose a serious health risk when swallowed, causing stomach and intestinal problems and possible death. Call your pediatrician or other health care provider immediately if your child swallows one of these items.


• Store toys in a designated location, such as on a shelf or in a toy chest, and keep older kids’ toys away from young children.


• Read instructions carefully on a toy before allowing your child to play with it.


• Don’t leave children unattended with balloons. Uninflated or broken balloons are a choking hazard for children under 8.


• Watch out for pull toys with strings more than 12 inches in length. They could be a strangulation hazard for babies. Source: AAP


For more information on toy safety, contact the Livingston County Department of Health at 243-7299 or visit www.livingstoncounty.us/doh.htm.