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What You Should Know About Toy-Related Injuries

With the holidays over, children all over are playing with their beloved new toys. While toys are typically associated with joy and fun, they can unintentionally cause injuries among children. According to a study by the Center for Injury Research and Policy at the Research Institute of Nationwide Children’s Hospital found that the number of toy related injuries among children has increased significantly from 1990 to 2011.

It was estimated that 195,363 kids younger than 18 years were treated in U.S. emergency departments for a toy related injury in 2011 alone. This means that every 3 minutes, an American child is receiving treatment for a toy related injury.

What type of toys cause the most injuries?

Since 1999, much of the increase in toy related injuries have been attributed to the large amount of ride-on toys that have been made in recent years. In fact, ride-on toys have been associated with almost 35 percent of toy related pediatric injuries treated in the United States. Of those ride-on toy injuries, 75 percent of those injuries are due to falls. Additionally, ride-on toys are more than 3 times more likely to cause a dislocation or fracture than any other type of toy.

What is the most common method of toy related injury?

Falling is the most common way for a kid to be injured by their toys no matter what age they may be. Other common ways for children to be injured by their toys include collisions, tripping over or stepping on toys.

What is the most common type of toy related injury?

The most common kind of toy related pediatric injury in the United States includes lacerations, soft tissue injuries, and fractures or dislocations. If the child is younger than 5 years old, than they are more likely to be injured due to toy related aspiration, ingestion, or laceration. However, older kids are more likely to be diagnosed with a sprain, fracture, dislocation, or strain.

How can you best prevent toy related injuries in children?

The majority of toy related injuries could be prevented if there were more improvements in toy safety standards and product design, better recall efforts for dangerous toys, and more awareness of toy related dangers and prevention tips.

Here are just a few toy related injury prevention tips to reduce your child’s risk:

  • Pay attention to and follow age recommendations on the packaging.

  • Read and follow the instructions for toy assembly and usage.

  • Use a small parts test device in order to determine whether a toy is too tiny for a young child to play with. You can find these test devices in many toy and baby specialty stores.

  • Toys that contain small balls, marbles, and ball shaped pieces are a choking hazard and are dangerous for children younger than 3 years of age to play with if their diameter is less than 1.75 inches.

  • Try to avoid any magnetic building sets, jewelry, and other toys that contain any high powered magnets since they can cause serious injuries if swallowed.

  • Anything with button batteries can result in serious internal injuries and even death if swallowed and stuck in the esophagus.

  • Make sure to keep toys for your older children away from the younger ones in the home.

  • When playing with ride-on toys, make sure your child has a helmet and other protective gear and knows to avoid roads with motor vehicle traffic.