Lafayette, LA (KPEL News) - Oh what fun, until you're taking your kid to the local hospital. The excitement of a Louisiana Christmas morning is as enjoyable for parents as it is for their children because we enjoy watching their faces light up at seeing their gifts.

No doubt we all carefully consider each purchase for safety, but the danger may not be so obvious. And while we have some fantastic emergency departments in south Louisiana, we certainly don't want to visit them during the most wonderful time of the year for a preventable malady.

I follow Dr. Beachgem on social media. You can check out her video at the end of this article. She's a pediatric emergency room physician who shares insight into how to protect our most precious treasures, when to haul them to the ER, and how not to end up there.

As a mother of four, she has a unique perspective given her chosen profession. She recently shared her list of 5 gifts you may want to rethink, no matter how much they plead.


Button Battery

A button battery or coin battery can be dangerous, especially if they are swallowed. According to, not only can they cause choking, but the chemical inside, like lithium, can make them very sick. Dr. Beachgem explains that the cover on many battery compartments is held on with small, inexpensive screws that come out easily and expose the battery. She says they can kill children and do every year. Be super careful with toys that need button batteries for operation.


Water Beads
Courtesy Consumer Product Safety Commission

Despite their attraction to parents who want to offer sensory toys to children, both Dr. Beachgem suggest other options. The Consumer Product Safety Commission also issued an alert to parents about the danger of water beads. Some of them can be as small as the head of a pin and not get larger until they are exposed to water. Therein lies the problem. If a child swallows one or any, the beads absorb the water in their intestines and expand which causes blockages that are life-threatening. CPSC warns not to have them in any environment with children three and younger and to make sure older children aren't playing with them unsupervised. If I was a parent, water beads would be a hard pass.


Electric Scooter

As a pediatric ER physician, Dr. Beachgem sees a lot of injuries. Kids go fast, hit a bump or lose control, and then their face hits the pavement. Ouch! If not their face or head, they can break an arm or a leg. As a matter of fact, the Consumer Product Safety Commission reports there were more than 42,000 emergency room visits due to e-scooters in 2021! The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children under driving age (16) shouldn't be allowed to operate e-scooters. When anyone rides, they should always wear protective gear.



Hoverboards look really cool, right? Imagine an electric scooter without a handle. Dr. Beachgem says they see a lot of hoverboard injuries in the ER right after Christmas. Falls typically result in forearm and elbow breaks, or even concussions. The average age of an injured rider is 11 years old. Dr. Beachgem notes and the Consumer Product Safety Commission warns of the fire danger from hoverboards. The alert went out when hoverboards shot to popularity in 2015, but the risk hasn't disappeared.



Trampolines, according to Dr. Beachgem, keep the emergency and trauma teams in business. She uses the word "detest" when she describes how she, as a pediatrician and a mom, feels about them. As a matter of fact, reports that the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends against buying one, mini or full-sized, for your home. They should only be utilized in training facilities under strict supervision. Nets and safety apparatus don't significantly reduce the risk of injury, and owning one could increase your homeowners' insurance.


With all the gift options we have today for our children, find something that they will enjoy and keep them out of the emergency room. We can't keep our children safe from every danger, nor do we want to take away the fun of being a kid, but we also want to save them pain and ourselves some heartache.

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