It’s that season. The season of buying your kids the best toy. Some are fraught with danger, according to a new study. 18 kids are injured to the point of taking them to the emergency room. The culprit? Scooters. The study should have looked at how many adults go down trying to be cute on them too.
Published in the journal Clinical Pediatrics, researchers found that ride-on-toys – including scooters, wagons, tricycles and motorized kiddie cars – are increasingly responsible for the majority of injuries around the holiday. Between 1990 and 2011, the toys accounted for 35 percent of all injuries, and 43 percent of admissions. Bicycles were excluded from the study, due to them being classified as vehicles.
Dr. Gary Smith, director of the Center for Injury Research at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, led the study. His team poured over two decades of injury reports. In the timespan, 3,278,073 children under the age of 18 ended up in the ER for toy-related injuries.
As scooters became more popular, the rate of injuries jumped 61 percent – from 121,249 to 195,363 per year. The largest share – 46 percent – of injuries resulted from serious falls. 22 percent were the result of collisions. Maybe you shouldn’t teach little Timmy to joust on his scooter.
The easiest way to prevent injuries? It’s like riding a bike. Wear a helmet. Head injuries are the chief concerns with falls and collisions. Also, concussions can lead to life-long ailments that can be prevented by just wearing a helmet.
Other dangers this holiday season include swallowing accidents. 11 percent of all injuries are traced back to poorly designed toys that have small pieces breaking off. This leads to small children swallowing the parts.
Smith and his team urge parents to educate themselves on the toys they buy. With the rise of social media, companies shouldn’t use it solely for marketing, but also educating parents on any dangers. They can also spread the word if a toy is defective or dangerous to an age group.
As for that scooter under the tree? Make sure the helmet box is wrapped up right next to it.