Toy safety during the holidays

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Local experts have a warning about toys that may be under your holiday tree right now. They say you need to play it safe when purchasing certain gifts.

Be aware of what these toys are capable of doing- in particular,  small toys.

Here's a good rule of thumb. If the toy is small enough to fit inside the cardboard part of a roll of
toilet paper, that means your child can easily choke on it.

But it's not just a toy's size. There are other dangers, and there are questions a parent needs to ask themselves before buying a particular toy.

If a toy has a long string, it could get wrapped around a child's neck. Wayne Hogan, a local attorney who handles cases like this says parents need to think about these and other possibilities. Can the toy smother a child- especially if placed in a crib with a small child? Is the toy sharp? Does the toy shoot a projectile of some kind? If so, there's a chance that piece could hit a child in the eye. And is the toy hard? Is it capable of hurting a child? Can this toy strangle my child?

Hogan says parents need to think about these things, not only when it comes to brand new toys bought in the store, but also toys you buy secondhand.

Hogan also says no matter how much of a rush you are to finish your shopping, these are things you need to think about as a parent or loved one. If you have any hesitation about a toy, just don't buy it.

About the Author:

Ashley Harding joined the Channel 4 news team in March 2013. She reports for and anchors The Morning Show.