SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — In a few days, your little ones will be getting gifts they’ll want to play with right away, but could your kids be unwrapping something dangerous?
The American Academy of Pediatrics says choking is the leading cause of death in kids younger than four.
While most families are filled with holiday cheer, there’s a different hustle and bustle inside the hospital.
Tyler Greenfield is the Director of Emergency Room Pediatrics at Upstate University Hospital.
He has some advice to make sure safety is on your list this Holiday season.
The big one is centered around toys being potential choking hazards.
“You know your child. Do they put everything in their mouth? Some do some don’t,” Greenfield said.
Even if they normally don’t, a new toy may be too tempting. His advice is to follow the toilet paper roll test.
It’s not just the toys themselves. The button batteries inside can be another threat.
“It can corrode through the esophagus and along the esophagus, outside runs the aorta, one of the main blood vessels and that can lead to life-threatening bleeding,” Greenfield warns.
He says you should make sure the screws on those toys are tight.
If you’re missing a battery, don’t think twice about heading to the hospital.
Do not feel bad bringing your child to the ED just to check because a battery is missing. I would much rather do an x-ray on a child and find out there’s no battery present than wait a couple of days or hours for really severe life-threatening symptoms.Dr. Tyler Greenfield
Another tip: if your child is gifted a bike without a helmet, Greenfield says you shouldn’t let them ride until they have one.
Also, be careful around the table.
“Having that child sit on your lap and then placing that cup of coffee right in front of you, and you don’t think anything of it, and the child is playing and they reach for that,” said Greenfield. “We see a lot of hand burns and then the scald burns can be quite severe because it’s often at a height where the child reached up and then it went down their face or entire body.”