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Holiday toy safety

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Photo: Video by IdahoOnYourSide.com

Holiday toy safety

By Nicole Pineda. CREATED Dec 10, 2013

It's that time of year when thousands of toys are flying off of shelves.  Experts say there are a few precautions that will help keep your kids safe this holiday season.

Although some toys appear to be in one piece, with just a little effort, little pieces can easily come off and become a choking hazard to your child.

While most toys look harmless, many can pose choking hazards to kids under the age of three. Balloons and magnets are especially dangerous.  

You may not even realize that the eyes, noses and filling of a stuffed animal can also cause choking.  Any toy with small parts is especially dangerous for little ones who still like to put things in their mouths, ears, or noses.

That is why it is so important to read the labels on toys before purchasing them.

"Probably the biggest thing people should think about is [to] consider the child you're buying for.  Think about their ages, their skill levels, their interests, and then try to get toys that are tailored specifically to that age level," said Niki Forbing-Orr, Public Information Officer for the Department of Health and Welfare.  

Children waking up to find that Santa Claus has brought them a bicycle or tricycle should also have a helmet and safety gear.  Even tricycles have been linked to deadly falls and experts say it's a good habit to start early anyway.

Finally, while older children should be allowed to have more complicated toys with smaller parts, make sure the older kids' toys stay separate from the little ones' toys.