With the holidays nearly here, many parents and families are finishing up their holiday shopping lists. According to safety experts, shoppers should exercise some caution and judgment when choosing which toys to give children, as many pose risks to their safety. According to a first-of-its-kind study from researchers at Nationwide Children's Hospital, hospitals and physicians treated over 3.2 million children for injuries they sustained by playing with toys from 1990 to 2011.
The study found the following:
- Scooters - Researchers determined that foot-powered scooters accounted for nearly half of the toy-related injuries. Although these scooters have been around for a while, they have remained a popular toy, and caused approximately 580,000 injuries between 2000 and 2011. This equates to roughly one scooter-related injury every 11 minutes!
- Young Children - Younger children face different hazards when it comes to toys. According to the study, children under the age of 3 are injured most frequently by choking on small toys. During the study period, over 109,000 cases of young children choking on or swallowing toys were reported - about 14 cases a day.
- Riding Toys - Riding toys, including scooters, are popular among older children. However, researchers found that these toys, which can also include motorized cars or bikes, wagons, and tricycles increased kids' risks of suffering injuries. The study found that riding toys caused 42% of injuries to kids between the ages of 5 and 17. Riding toys were also more likely to cause broken bones.
While the study tends to highlight dangers many parents are already well aware of, it does held remind everyone that toys can be dangerous to children. Because children are prone to injuries, safety experts recommend several things to help parents keep their kids safer:
- Supervise younger children when playing with toys.
- Use the government safety recall website to see if any of your children's toys have been recalled before giving them to a child.
- Follow age restrictions, manufacturer guidelines, and instructions.
- Make sure children know how to properly use toys. For riding toys, make sure they have a good command of the toy and know how to stay safe from traffic.
Shook & Stone hopes that you and your children have a fun and safe holiday season. If your child suffers a preventable injury while playing with toys, our legal team is available to help you learn more about your rights and how we may be able to help. Contact us today to discuss your case.