You’d better watch out: Some of the toys that bring joy to children can also send them to the hospital.
In the latest ranking of the most dangerous kinds of toys, riding toys top the list. The culprits? Scooters, motorized mini-cars, even little red wagons.
Recreational equipment (hockey sticks, baseballs) and toy weapons also scored high on the hurt index.
The rankings, recently published in the journal Clinical Pediatrics, tracked toy-related injuries seen in emergency rooms nationwide. Every three minutes, a child is treated in an ER for a toy-related injury, the report found.
The hazardous mix of kids and ride-on toys is well known to Dr. David Hirschman, associate medical director of trauma for Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota.
Things can go bad quickly when children, who are easily distracted, let their attention jump from steering to something else.
“Now the vehicle is aiming at their sister or their cousin, and they run into them. The kids fall. They get run over. They get squeezed against a wall,” Hirschman said. “We see all sorts of these types of injuries.”
His advice for gift-givers and parents alike: Make sure an adult supervises when children play with motorized toys, and if you want to give a child a scooter as a gift, include a helmet and elbow pads.
“All those things help,” Hirschman said.
Another new dangerous toys list — created by the group, “World Against Toys Causing Harm” (WATCH) — includes a bow and arrow, an alphabet pull toy with a 20-inch rope, and (no surprise) a toy called “Bottle Rocket Party.” □