Holiday safety

Child treated every 3 minutes in ER for toy-related injury: study

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Photo: Kameleon007/iStockphoto

Columbus, OH – With the gift-giving season having arrived, researchers are warning parents of the injury risks toys can pose to children.

A child was treated in an emergency department every three minutes in 2011 for a toy-related injury, and more than 3 million children were treated for similar injuries from 1990 to 2011, according to a study conducted by the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

Falls (46 percent) and collisions (22 percent) accounted for the most common ways children were injured.

Young children are at particular risk of choking on small toys or toy parts. During the study period, researchers found more than 109,000 cases of children younger than 5 swallowing or inhaling “foreign bodies.” Riding toy-related injuries accounted for nearly half of all injuries to children 5 to 17 years old.

Tips to keep children safe with their toys include:

  • Follow age restrictions and guidelines.
  • Examine toys for small parts that could pose choking hazards.
  • Supervise children younger than 8 on riding toys.

Parents also are advised to check www.recalls.gov to learn if any toys their children own or play with have been recalled.

The study was published online Dec. 1 in the journal Clinical Pediatrics.