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Toys to double-check this Christmas

Monday - 12/24/2012, 6:04am  ET

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Toys like Buckyballs contain small magnets which, if swallowed, can be dangerous and even fatal. (Lacey Mason/WTOP)

WASHINGTON - The gifts have been purchased, wrapped and placed under the tree. But before children rip off the paper, have you asked if the toys are safe?

Maryann Semansky of Toy Tips says there are a few details parents shouldn't overlook when buying presents. For example, she advises parents to think twice about toys with tiny pieces that can be easily swallowed.

"If you have multiple kids in the house, you do not want to have any toys that have small pieces," Semansky says.

Toys with magnets are particularly dangerous. Though the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has filed lawsuits and complaints to stop the sale of toys that have small, magnetic parts, some still may be available online or at garage sales.

"If you have a toy that has a magnetic piece, and if the child were to swallow two of them, and that magnetized inside a human body, that could become fatal," Semansky says.

For older children, tablets may be a popular gift request.

"Kids are asking for tablets at such a young age, and parents need to put parental controls on the tablets to make sure that kids aren't getting into the websites and games that they don't want them to get into," she says.

Semansky adds that it's not a good idea to let babies or small children play with keys.

For more information, visit toytips.com.

Rosemary Frisino-Toohey contributed to this report.

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)