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Shoppers warned to avoid hazards when choosing gifts

December 13, 2012
Weirton Daily Times

CHARLESTON - The West Virginia Poison Center reminds shoppers to be aware of potential poison hazards while shopping for children's gifts.

To keep in mind:

Some toys may contain lead. Be careful when purchasing costume jewelry, crafting kits, crayons and toys made in other countries. Stay up-to-date on toy recalls at

Many toys and other items, such as musical gift cards and books, remote controls and ornaments contain small disc, or button, batteries.

These batteries can cause severe injury or death if swallowed. Don't allow children to play with or have access to items containing button batteries unless the batteries are secured in compartments that require a screw driver for opening.

Products containing tiny magnets, such as desk novelty items and magnetic toy sets, are not recommended for children. If more than one magnet is swallowed, the magnets can pinch off sections of the esophagus, stomach or intestines leading to blockages, infections and permanent injury or death. Do not purchase magnetic toy sets or desk novelty items if children are in the home.

Avoid water-expanding toys that start off as small objects easily swallowed.

If swallowed, water in the child's stomach will cause them to expand many times larger than their initial size. This can lead to blockages, tears in the stomach lining and permanent injury or death.

Check the ingredients in children's science kits and chemistry sets. Follow specific age recommendations closely and only purchase if they will be used with adult supervision.

If a child may have been poisoned by one of these items, call the West Virginia Poison Center immediately at (800) 222-1222.

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