The rate of children, from toddlers to teens, hurt while using toys has increased by 40 percent between 1990 and 2011, according to a new study reported by The Today Show. In fact, in 2011 an American child required emergency treatment every three minutes for a toy-related injury. The biggest culprit: ride-on toys.
This study highlighted serious concerns about scooters, wagons, tricycles, powered play cars, and other ride-on toys, all of which accounted for 35 percent of the reported injuries and 42 percent of hospital admissions. Lead study author Gary Smith, MD, director of the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, told Today.com that the most important thing a parent can do to protect a child using these types of toys is to make sure that the child always wears a helmet.
The study found that young children are more at risk for choking on small toys and toy parts, but as they get older ride-on toys become the greatest risk, particularly foot-powered scooters. The research reports that these foot-powered scooters drove most of the injury-rate spike, and typically involved kids ages 5 to 17 who commonly sustained cuts and lacerations related to falls.