’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 Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota.