’Tis the season – for injury?
by Dex Tuttle
Toddlers have a seemingly infinite amount of energy. This isn’t news to most of you, but as a new parent my expectations of my daughter’s energy level are always a significant underestimate of the stamina of which she’s capable. On a recent weekend, Quinnlyn and her “Namma” ran more than 50 laps around our kitchen and living room with little or no signs of slowing down.
As a result of this constant source of energy, I often struggle to keep my daughter occupied. My rationale is that she’s less likely to get into trouble if she’s busy with some toys or an activity; however, that may not be the case.
A new study found that, nationally, toy-related injuries are sending another child to the emergency room every three minutes.
This increase in toy-related injuries primarily is due to ride-on toys and scooters. Nearly half of the kids injured by toys are hurt falling off of them, and of those, many of them break bones.
REPORT: Avoiding dangerous toys
Now may be a time of year that some of us are thinking about getting new toys for the little ones. Whether they play with new toys or hand-me-downs, it’s not likely we’ll ever totally protect our kids from injury, but this serves as a good reminder:
- Always read the instructions and follow manufacturer guidelines on age and appropriate use.
- Define a safe space for kids to use these high-risk toys, and always make rules about staying away from other hazards such as traffic, obstacles and other people.
- It’s never too early to get kids in the habit of wearing helmets. If they’re on wheels, their helmets should be on – indoors or out.
- Make sure the toys are in good repair and check the Consumer Product Safety Commission for recalls.
Dex Tuttle is the injury prevention program director at Children’s Minnesota.