A new study found that toy-related injuries are on the rise
Is “toy scooter” on your child’s Christmas wish list? You might want to skip that item. The first study to look at toy-related injuries using nationally representative data found that between 1990 and 2011, more than 3 million children have gone to the ER because of toy-related injuries, a rate of injury increase of 40 percent.
The increase was mostly attributed to toy scooters.
“Much of the increase in the overall toy injury rate after 1999 is due to foot-powered scooters,” Gary Smith, the study’s senior author and director of the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, said in a statement. “I’ve never seen anything like it in my career.”
According to the study, nearly half of the injuries occurred in children younger than 5. Children younger than 3 were more likely to choke on toys accidentally. But kids 5 years and older were most likely to be injured while playing with ride-on toys (scooters, tricycles, toy wagons) and toy weapons. Roughly 77 percent of the ride-on toy injuries were from falls.
Though the injuries weren’t fatal, resulting in cuts, scratches and broken, fractured or dislocated limbs, the study’s researchers say the growing number of them is cause for concern. “This underscores the need for increased efforts to prevent these injuries to children,” Smith said. “Important opportunities exist for improvements in toy safety standards, product design, recall effectiveness and consumer education.”
Scooter manufacturers recommend the toys not be used by children younger than 8 without parental supervision and suggest helmets and elbow and knee pads be used.