Children First: The hidden danger inside kids' toys - KOTA Territory News

Children First: The hidden danger inside kids' toys

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Browse through any toy store and electronics clearly dominate the market. But how safe are battery-operated toys for young children?

Like any four year old, Lily has endless energy, and uncontrollable curiosity - which is a daily challenges for working mother and full time student Nancy Gonzalez.
 
"Parents are pretty busy with work school and other children so sometimes electronic gadgets keep them entertained," said Gonzalez.
 
But it's what powers those distractions that worries Gonzalez and many child care providers.  
"They just love to put things in their mouth anyway, a lot of the time they can't tell it's bad for them," said Gonzales.
 
"Developmentally, kids are programmed to be very oral. Especially with the smaller batteries because they are small and circular, candy shaped, that's a particular danger," said Jessica Castleberry, owner of Little Nest Preschool.
 
Portable electronics are becoming increasingly popular with young children, and the medical community is taking notice. In 2009 alone, more than 5500 kids nationwide were taken to the emergency room for battery related injuries.
 
"They can present symptoms of coughing, wheezing, drooling, crying, fussy because of pain in their chest, vomiting," said Dr. Nancy Babbitt of Creekside medical.
 
"The biggest thing is to monitor anything that is within your child's reach. Something small like that could be swallowed, you might not know that they swallowed it right away," said Castleberry.

As a parent, Gonzalez says making smart decisions in the toy store is the best prevention.
 

"If you're buying toys for your children is to make sure it's something where the batteries go in, it requires a screw driver to remove the battery so they're not able to pull it out," said Gonzales.

According to a study by the Journal of Pediatrics, children under five are at highest risk for serious bodily damage from swallowing a battery.

According to the Wall Street journal, 90% of all patients in battery incidents were treated and released.

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