ALBANY, GA (WALB) - While parents are scrambling to get their little ones the latest toys for Christmas, medical responders want to remind you that safety should come first.
Your child's playtime is precious. They get to explore colors, shapes, and discover new sounds. And with Christmas fast approaching, it's a no brainer that toys will be on the list, but so should safety.
"We've had some where small children had pushed little plastic parts into their nose, they put it in their mouth,"Dougherty County EMS Supervisor Sam Allen said.
He feels it's important to always examine toys before handing it over to a child. Allen says he has been called out to homes where children have lodged foreign objects into their airways.
"The piece of plastic was laying right on top of their vocal cords," Allen continued."And there was no way to get it without surgery."
The Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children's Hospital found that every 3 minutes a child is related for a toy-related injury in 2011.
As a father himself, Allen says he and his wife made toy safety a priority.
"I mean if we saw something that was breaking or whatever we got rid of it right away."
Mary Thomas of Lamb Shelter Daycare center says parents should also be mindful power outlets. She says that's one of the first things kids will gravitate to.
"Make sure all the plugs are closed with covers," Thomas said.
Emergency medical responders and care takers both agree, if you buy your child a battery operated toy make sure the back is sealed tightly so the batteries aren't accessible.
Try making a habit of checking age restrictions on product as well, supervision is key.
"Watch them real closely," Thomas said
From 1990 to 2011 over 3 million children in the U.S. were hospitalized from a toy-related injury, protect your child by being vigilant.
Nationwide Children's Hospital study
Consumer Product Safety Commission