Christmas season is that time of the year when virtually everyone is looking for toys to give to children. For those pondering on their holiday gifts for their kids, findings of a new research should get you a little more careful when shopping for toys.
Nationwide Children's Hospital's Center for Injury Research and Policy director Gary Smith and colleagues have found that at least one child is treated in an emergency department in the U.S. every 3 minutes because of toy related injuries and one particular toy is increasing the odds of children getting hurt.
Using data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS), a database operated by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission that offers information on injuries caused by consumers products that were treated in emergency departments across the U.S., Smith and colleagues have found that between the years 1990 and 2011, more than 3,278,000 children were treated for toy-related injury.
The researchers, whose findings were reported in a study published in the journal Clinical Pediatrics on Nov. 30 also found that the incidence has increased by nearly 40 percent during the 22-year study period with at least one child getting treated for toy-related injury every 3 minutes in 2011.
The increase was linked with the popularity of foot-powered scooters. With the soaring popularity of a new foot-powered scooter from 2000 to 2011, there had been 580,037 associated injuries, or about one in every 11 minutes.
"Ride-on toys accounted for 34.9% of injuries and 42.5% of hospital admissions," the researchers wrote. "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."
Smith and colleagues likewise found that injuries with riding toys such as tricycles, foot-powered scooters and wagons, rise as the children get older accounting for 42 percent of injuries in children between 5 and 17 years old and 28 percent of injuries in children 5 year old and younger. The injuries are often caused by falls and collisions and are thrice likely to involve broken bone or dislocation compared with injuries caused by other toys.
"The frequency and increasing rate of injuries to children associated with toys, especially those associated with foot-powered scooters, is concerning," Smith said. "This underscores the need for increased efforts to prevent these injuries to children. Important opportunities exist for improvements in toy safety standards, product design, recall effectiveness, and consumer education."