According to a new study published in Clinical Pediatrics, millions of U.S. children have been sent to the hospital over the past couple of decades as a result of toy-related injuries. That’s the equivalent of one child sent to the emergency room for these injuries every three minutes in the United States.
The researchers analyzed U.S. National Electronic Injury Surveillance System data regarding childhood injuries over the span of 21 years. The research team, headed by Dr. Gary Smith at the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, found that from 1990 to 2011, over 3.2 million children received treatment in emergency rooms for toy-related injuries.
The study also revealed that the rate of toy-related injuries is on the rise. From 1990 to 2011, the injury rate rose 40 percent.
One Particular Toy Stood Out as a Major Danger
One type of toy stood out from among the rest as a major culprit for childhood injuries: foot-powered scooters. Scooters gained popularity around the year 2000. Over the ten-year span after the time they hit the market, research shows that scooters caused 580,037 child injuries. This means that for the last decade, roughly every 11 minutes, a child or teen was hurt by a scooter.
“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,” said Dr. Smith.
Injuries in Young Children
In children five years of age or younger, choking is still the primary hazard. During the study period, over 109,000 young children swallowed or inhaled foreign bodies. This means that each day, 14 kids choke on a toy.
In addition to following manufacturers’ age recommendations for toys, Nationwide Children’s Hospital recommends using a size test to determine whether or not to allow a child to play with a toy. Many toy stores and baby specialty stores offer a small parts testing device, which is a tube the size of a child’s esophagus. If the toy is able to fit through the tube, it’s not safe for young children.
There are numerous seemingly harmless toys and toy parts that can fit down a child’s throat. Children under three should not be permitted to play with them.
- Bouncy balls
- Lincoln Logs
- Toy car wheels
- Plastic army figurines
- Barbie accessories
Scooter injuries can range from head and neck injuries, to injuries to the knees and hands as children attempt to break their fall when tumbling off the scooter or other toy.
Scooter injuries can include those listed below.
- Lacerations, road rash, scrapes, and cuts
- Sprains and strains
Parents who insist on getting their child a foot-powered scooter should make sure the child wears the right safety gear. This includes a helmet and pads to protect various parts of the child's body. Of course, children should always wear protective gear on other riding toys as well, such as tricycles and bicycles. Always check for toy recalls before purchasing.
If Hurt, Consult a Toy-Related Injury Attorney in Atlanta
If your child was injured by a dangerous toy, you might be eligible to file a claim to recover the damages. This generally requires that the toy was defective and caused your child's injury. Speak to a lawyer to determine if your case qualifies and the next steps to take legal action.
Call the Law Office of Jason R. Schultz, P.C. for a case evaluation of your child was injured by an unsafe toy. Contact us today at 404-474-for a free, no-obligation consultation.