Scooters and riding toys are still big hits among children when it comes to gifts for birthdays and the holidays. However, new research is showing that these toys can be extremely dangerous as well. According to a study published last month in the journal Clinical Pediatrics, ride-on toys such as scooters, wagons, tricycles and motor-powered vehicles such as Barbie Jeeps, are responsible for a growing number of children's injuries and emergency room visits.
Understanding the Numbers
According to the study, conducted by the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, ride-on toys accounted for 35 percent of injuries and 43 percent of hospital admissions among children younger than 18, between 1990 and 2011. Bicycles were excluded from this study because they are categorized as vehicles by the industry.
For the purpose of this study, researchers looked at more than 20 years worth of data from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety's (CPSC) database. They found that an estimated 3.2 million children under 18 were treated in emergency departments for toy-related injuries. Between 1990 and 2001, there was a 61 percent increase in toy-related injuries. More than 80 percent of these injuries occur at home and the largest share of them, about 46 percent, came as a result of serious falls.
Protecting Children from Injuries
Injuries caused by ride-on toys may include head injuries such as concussions, broken bones and cuts requiring stitches. Researchers say a number of these injuries may be prevented with the use of protective equipment such as helmets and elbow and kneepads. Traumatic brain injuries, which can occur when a child falls down and hits his or her head on the pavement, can be life-long and devastating. In addition to making sure that their children are wearing protective gear, researchers say parents should ensure that the toys are age-appropriate.
The study found that the toy industry must also take the necessary steps to improve safety standards, toy design, consumer awareness and effectiveness of defective product recalls. A number of toy companies market their products via social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. But, you rarely see them educating consumers or spreading the word when one of their toys is deemed unsafe or defective. Parents can stay abreast of recalls by visiting CPSC's website, cpsc.gov.
Important Safety Tips
Here are a few tips to help ensure that your child is safe while playing with a riding toy:
• Make sure protective gear is used when a child is on a bike, a scooter, skates or skateboard. The helmet must fit snugly. • Children should not wear loose clothing or scarves that may get caught in the toy and choke them. It's also a good idea not to wear sandals that may get caught in the pedals. • Look for wide wheels on scooters. The ones with thin wheels travel too fast and may reduce stability. • Watch out for inclines, bumps and stairways. • Supervise your children when they ride on the street.
If you are a loved one have been injured and need to speak with an attorney, Call Injury Attorney Martin E. Goff Today at (567) 298-4661
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