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7 ways to avoid toy injuries this holiday season

Experts offer tips on how to avoid toy-related

Experts offer tips on how to avoid toy-related injuries this holiday season. Credit: Newsday/Rebecca Cooney

Toys, toys, toys. They're everywhere this holiday season.

But some of these must-haves may cause injury to children due to safety hazards.

According to a press release from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, millions of  unsafe toys and children's items were prevented from entering the country this year. Still, a number of products that reached store shelves were recalled due to small parts, choking hazards or sharp points. 

Last year, it was estimated that 193,200 emergency room injuries to children under the age of 15 were associated with a toy, the CPSC reported.

To help keep your kids safe this holiday season, the CPSC offers these 7 tips:

*Balloons Children can choke or suffocate on deflated or broken balloons. Keep deflated balloons away from children younger than 8-years-old. Discard broken balloons immediately.

*Small balls and other toys with small parts For children younger than 3, avoid toys with small parts, which can cause choking. 

*Scooters and other riding toys Riding toys, skateboards and in-line skates go fast, and falls could be deadly. Helmets and safety gear should be worn properly at all times, and they should be sized to fit. 

*Magnets High powered magnet sets are dangerous and should be kept away from children under 14. Building and play sets with small magnets should also be kept away from small children. 

Once gifts are open, the group recommends consumers take the following steps: 

*Immediately discard plastic wrapping or other toy packaging before they become dangerous play things. 

*Keep toys appropriate for older children away from younger siblings. 

*Battery charging should be supervised by adults. Chargers and adapters can pose thermal burn hazards to young children. Pay attention to instructions and warnings on battery chargers. Some chargers lack any mechanism to prevent overcharging. 

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