Tuesday, August 1, 2023
HomeHealthWhat to Look For (and Keep away from)

What to Look For (and Keep away from)


Vacation gift-giving might be magical, particularly if you’re giving a beloved little one that good current. But it surely may also be hazardous. 

In 2021, emergency rooms within the U.S. handled greater than 152,000 youngsters youthful than 15 for toy-related accidents, in response to the Shopper Product Security Fee (CPSC). To assist defend the kids in your life, concentrate on these widespread toy-related hazards and methods to decide on secure toys.

Be Conscious of Button Batteries 

Button batteries are flat, spherical batteries in regards to the dimension of a dime that energy every kind of electronics discovered within the house, together with many toys. 

It’s a rising danger. Each 75 minutes within the U.S., a toddler below 18 visits an ER for a battery-related damage, in response to a brand new examine of knowledge from 2010 to 2019 revealed by Protected Children and Nationwide Kids’s Hospital. That’s greater than twice the frequency reported in a earlier examine primarily based on information from 1990 to 2009. Most of those accidents — 85% — concerned button batteries. And most occurred in youngsters 5 years outdated and youthful, the age vary at which youngsters are more likely to put all the things of their mouths.

“These batteries are small, flat, shiny, easy, straightforward to ingest, they usually actually burn via the tissue within the throat and abdomen. They are often lethal,” says Amy Watkins, MPH, the director of Protected Children Connecticut, a program of Connecticut Kids’s Harm Prevention Middle. “If you happen to’re shopping for a battery-powered toy, be sure that the compartment is safe and might solely be opened utilizing a device like a screwdriver.”

Watch Out for Wheels

Scooters that are not motorized account for the biggest share of toy-related accidents, in response to the CPSC. 

“These scooters are sometimes given to younger youngsters they usually’re not handled with the identical warning as bikes or skateboards is perhaps, maybe as a result of folks assume they’ll’t go that quick, so youngsters aren’t essentially carrying helmets,” says Stacey Pecenka, MPH, supervisor of the pediatric trauma damage prevention program at Vanderbilt College Medical Middle in Tennessee. “Greater than two-thirds of toy-related accidents are from non-motorized scooters.”

Motorized scooters and digital bikes may also be dangerous, significantly if ridden by youngsters which might be too younger. “Though they’re often labeled as being for ages 16 or 18 and up, digital bikes are sometimes being utilized by a lot youthful youngsters,” Pecenka says. The variety of youngsters hospitalized for digital scooter accidents rose from 4.2% in 2011 to 12.9% in 2020, with 27% involving arm fractures and one in ten instances involving head accidents similar to concussions. 

Virtually any wheeled or different driving toy that may choose up some pace might be hazardous, Watkins says. “All people thinks they’re not going to fall, however we see so many youngsters within the ER with accidents from falling off bicycles or skateboards or hoverboards. If you happen to’re gifting a toddler a motorbike, skateboard, scooter, snowboard or skates, try to be giving them a helmet as properly. And be sure that no matter it’s, it’s applicable for the kid’s age.”

Magnet Mayhem

Many toys include high-powered magnets, typically referred to as uncommon earth magnets, which might be extraordinarily hazardous if swallowed. A number of of those manufacturers, together with Zen Magnets and Neoballs, have had their merchandise recalled not too long ago as a result of risks related to ingesting them. 

Tiny magnets are additionally generally present in fidget toys, and youths usually use these magnets to imitate physique piercings by inserting one on both facet of the tongue, lips or cheeks, the place they are often by accident swallowed.   

The dangers transcend choking. “If swallowed, these magnets can join via the tissue within the intestines and bowel and create blockages,” Watkins says. “These bonds are actually robust and infrequently require emergency surgical procedure to take away them.” 

The CPSC discovered these magnet toys so harmful that they ordered all of them recalled from the market in 2012, however a courtroom ruling overturned that call in 2016 and they’re nonetheless on retailer cabinets. Though they’re meant to be used in ages 14 and up, a latest examine discovered that the typical age of the kids injured was 7.6, with greater than half needing hospitalization.

Toy Purchaser’s Information 

Observe these easy ideas for selecting toys, shared by the CPSC and different toy security specialists:

  • Learn the label. What age is the product meant for? Observe age steerage and different security info on toy packaging and select toys that match every kid’s pursuits and talents. “If a toy says it’s for ages 4 and up, don’t say, ‘My 2-year-old nephew is admittedly superior and he’ll be enjoying with this very quickly,’” Pecenka says. “Toys are geared for a sure age vary for a purpose.”
  • Get security gear, together with helmets, for scooters and different driving toys. Kids want to make use of them each time. “And be sure you have the correct helmet,” Pecenka says. Helmets for bicycle driving are completely different than these designed for snowboarding or snowboarding or driving an ATV.  Pay attention to the protection gear that must be customary with these items.
  • Maintain small balls and toys with small components away from youngsters youthful than age 3. “A very good rule of thumb is that if one thing would match into the tube of a rest room paper roll, a toddler below 3-5 shouldn’t have it,” Watkins says.
  • Test the toy with a important eye. “Does it have components that may simply break off and {that a} little one might place of their mouth or might create a pointy level that might poke or minimize a toddler?” Watkins asks. “If it’s an digital toy, is the battery compartment safe?” 
  • Seek for recollects on-line earlier than shopping for a toy, particularly should you’re shopping for secondhand. “Simply put the toy identify and the phrase ‘recall’ right into a search engine or use the CPSC’s recall search device at cpsc.gov/Recall,” Watkins says. 




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