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    Julia Molettiere, RN-BS, CSN, CPEN
     phone: 609-978-5700 ext. 1140      |      fax: 609-978-5701      |      jmolettiere@staffordschools.org
    Children love the holiday season, from the festive decorations to presents and added time with family. In this video, pediatrician Benjamin D. Hoffman, MD, FAAP, a spokesperson for the American Academy of Pediatrics, offers advice to keep children safe as you celebrate the holidays with family and friends.
    Giving gifts to children is a favorite part of winter holidays, whether they're wrapped under a tree or exchanged with the lighting of a candle. Below are some Holiday Toy Tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics. Happy & safe gifting!
    • Select toys to suit the age, abilities, skills and interest level of the child. 
    • When choosing gifts for babies and toddlers, consider toys that will build developmental skills. Toys that can be manipulated, such as shape sorters, stacking blocks, and baby-safe puzzles, are great for developing fine motor, cognitive, and perceptual skills. 
    • If you are considering a digital device for a child or teen, such as a tablet, smartphone or game system, think about the purpose of the device and the rules you want to set around its use. 
    • Be cautious about toys containing button batteries or magnets. Children can have serious stomach and intestinal problems – including death – after swallowing button batteries or magnets. In addition to toys, button batteries may be in musical greeting cards, remote controls, or building toy sets. Keep button batteries and magnets away from young children and call your health care provider immediately if your child swallows one.
    • To prevent burns and electrical shocks, do not give children under age 10 a toy that must be plugged into an electrical outlet. Instead, buy toys that are battery-operated.
    • If you are buying a gift for a young child, look for toys without small pieces. Young children can choke on small parts contained in toys or games. 
    • Children can choke or suffocate on broken or uninflated balloons. Do not allow children under age 8 to play with them.
    • Remove tags, strings, and ribbons from toys before giving them to young children. Watch for pull toys with strings that are more than 12 inches long, because they could be a strangulation hazard for babies.
    • When your child receives a gift, be sure to read the label and instructions. Warning labels give important information about how to use and store a toy and what ages it is for. Be sure to show your child how to use the toy.
    • Parents should store toys in a designated location, such as on an open shelf or in a bin, and keep older kids' toys away from young children. If you use a toy box, choose one with no lid or a lightweight, non-locking lid and ventilation holes.