How can parents avoid toys that could be choking hazards?

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 10,915
    Parenting educator Dr. Rene Hackney talks about how to avoid toys that could be choking hazards.

    Rene Hackney

    Originally a full-time preschool teacher, Dr. Rene Hackney now holds a Master?s in school psychology and a PhD. in developmental psychology from George Mason University. She trained at the Developmental Clinic at Children?s National Medical Center and for the public schools, teaching in parenting programs at each. She has also acted as a consultant to several area preschools.

    For the last four years, Dr. Hackney has owned and lectured for Parenting Playgroups, Inc, a parenting resource center and preschool classroom in Alexandria Virginia. She has offered workshops to a wide

    range of parent, teacher and social work groups during this time.

    Workshop topics include eight hours on positive discipline techniques, five hours on early academic issues and common issues such as sibling rivalry and potty training. All workshops provide well researched lecture, in-class practice and open discussion time. Additionally she hosts a monthly parenting focused book club and fun play programs to introduce the preschool setting to young families.

    Dr. Hackney is married and has two young children of her own.

    Host: How can parents avoid toys that could be choking hazards?

    Rene Hackney: The first thing to do is that choking tube or a toilet paper tube, if the toy can fit into that for children under three that is considered a choking hazard. Other things to look for are cords on toys, if cords are longer than 12 inches; they are considered both the choking or strangulation hazard. So the idea is you would want to look for pull behind cords that are 12 inches or less. Also with the necklaces, things or things that go around the child s neck you want them to pop open really easily. So, there are some clasps that pop open very easily and there are others that just do not. So, look in for that when you are purchasing toys. Also knowing that balloons are one of the number one choking hazards for young children, so not giving children balloons to play with at least unsupervised, if the child inhales a balloon, it is very hard to get that balloon piece back out.