TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Whether you have kids or not – you need to read this.
Hospitals throughout Tucson are calling this one of the busiest times for child injuries and there may be some presents on your Christmas list that could be deadly.
Dr. Chan Lowe, Division Chief of Pediatric Hospital Medicine at Banner-University Medical Center says parents tend to have a lot going on this time of year and kids just don't get enough supervision.
Melissa Zukowski, Medical Director of Pediatric ER at Tucson Medical Center says holiday presents and decorations add to the risk.
"Christmas trees, Christmas ornaments, Christmas presents being unwrapped, and choking episodes based on kids getting into things they shouldn't," Zukowski said.
Experts say shoppers should be looking for gifts that are age appropriate.
Toddlers likely will receive soft toys that will inevitably end up in being chewed on. For older kids, a bike or skateboard should also come with safety equipment.
You should be watching that younger children aren't getting their hands on an older family member's toys.
Watch out for toys that have small parts that are choking hazards.
Try to stay away from toys that have balloons, magnets and button batteries. Batteries can damage the stomach and even lead to death.
Susan Kinkade, Trauma Outreach Coordinator for Banner-UMC shared an easy tip to remember when choosing a child's gift.
"Take a toilet paper roll or tissue wrapper roll and put your toy in it. If the toy falls through then you know that it could potentially get lodged in the child's throat and kill them," Kinkade said.
Tucson News Now obtained hospital pediatric trauma visits in the last few years.
The majority of visits came as a result of falls and car accidents and parents forgetting to buckle up their children.
Doctors say sometimes people think someone else in the family is watching the kids.
Children also go in for burns, drownings and accidental gun shot wounds.
With holiday decorations around the house, it's a good idea to do another round of child proofing.
"Crawl around and look for what would be at their eye level. The bulbs on the tree, holiday lights, candles that are out and might be in reach. Anything that is within reach becomes a potential hazard," Lowe said.
And should a little one get into something they're not supposed to, you want to move them on their side.
"All parents should be trained in CPR and in the Heimlich maneuver to help a child if they are actively choking. Obviously calling your friendly 911 and paramedics if they need it," Zukowski said.
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