The holiday season is here and many of us are shopping for children. If toys are on your list, take a moment to consider how safe they are. According to CBC, a US study suggests that toy-related injuries have increased by 40 per cent in the last two decades.
Dr. Gary Smith, an injury prevention researcher and director of Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio found that a child was treated in an emergency department for a toy-related injury every three minutes in the US. The Public Health Agency of Canada’s database of 17 emergency departments showed that there were 2,761 cases of toy-related injuries from 2010 to 2011.
"The increasing number and rate of toy-related injuries to children, especially those associated with ride-on toys, underscore the need for increased efforts to prevent these injuries," said Smith.
Ride-on toys were three times more likely to be related with a fracture or dislocation. Foot-powered scooters, wagons and tricycles were linked with 42 per cent of injuries. Helmets should be used with ride-on toys.
For children under three, toys including magnets, batteries and smaller parts pose choking hazards.
- Follow age restrictions and other manufacturer guidelines for all toys.
- Examine toys for small parts that could be choking hazards.
- Use riding toys on dry, flat surfaces away from vehicle traffic.
- Closely supervise any child younger than age eight who is on a riding toy.
- Have kids wear helmets, knee pads and elbow pads on scooters and other riding toys with wheels.
- Check government toy recall websites such as Healthy Canadians or US Government Recalls to see if any toys have been recalled.
Visit our 5 Tips for Toy Safety – A Holiday Reminder to ensure kids are safe with their new toys this holiday season.