According a new study conducted by researchers at the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital (NCH), toy-related injuries rose 40 percent over the last two decades. The researchers studied US National Electronic Injury Surveillance System data from 1990 to 2011. During that period, 3,278,073 children received treatment in the emergency room for toy-related injuries. This is the equivalent of one toy-related injury every three minutes.
#1 Cause for the Increase in Toy-Related Injuries
Why the stark increase? The primary culprit is kick scooters, or non-motorized scooters, according to the researchers. Scooters hit the market around 1999 and quickly became all the rage among kids and teens. From 2000 to 2010, scooters injured over 580,000 children; this was about an injury every 11 minutes.
The study’s author, Dr. Gary Smith, was amazed by the number of injuries caused by scooters. He noted in an interview, “When [scooters] were introduced there was a rapid increase in the number of injuries. In fact, I will say that I’ve never seen anything like it in my career.”
Riding toys, including scooters, wagons, and tricycles, account for over 40 percent of toy-related injuries in children ages five to 17 years, according to the NCH study.
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Safety Tips for Riding Toys
As the holiday season approaches, you might be considering purchasing a scooter or other riding toy for your child. If you do, keep these tips, courtesy of the NCH, in mind.
- Strictly enforce the helmet rule. Helmets help reduce the risk of major, life-threatening injuries. Dr. Smith said, “If you have three things that you could do to prevent an injury to a child on a scooter, or other ride-on toy, those three things would be: wear a helmet, wear a helmet, wear a helmet.”
- Read the manufacturer’s instructions. Make sure the toy is age-appropriate, that it contains all the parts, and that it’s built correctly.
- Provide a safe riding area. Only allow your child to ride in an open, flat area away from traffic.
- Supervise your children. NCH warns that all children under the age of eight require constant supervision when using a riding toy.
- Check for recalls. Before purchasing a riding toy, visit Recalls.gov to see if there have been any recalls or injury reports for the toy you’re considering. You can also check online for other parents’ safety reviews on the toy.
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If your child sustained an injury because of a defective toy or in a riding toy accident, call an injury attorney at Chalik & Chalik to discuss your legal options. You may quality to file a claim for compensation. Contactour team today at 855-529-0269 for a free, no-obligation consultation.
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