Be Safe This Season! Beware Toy Related Deaths and Injuries!
In the mad dash to get this year’s greatest deals on Black Friday, take a moment to consider what you are purchasing and ensure that the product is safe and age appropriate. If toys are not age appropriate, the risk of injury and misuse increases. Other toys may have been recalled and you can easily check the recall list on the CSPC’s website. Let’s try to have a safe and happy holiday season without trips to the emergency room.
In 2012, there were 265,000 toy related injuries requiring emergency room treatment in the United States. There were also 11 toy reported deaths, with all the victims under the age of 12.
Non-motorized scooters continued to be the category of toys associated with the most injuries in 2012, accounting for nearly 27% of all the reported injuries. One death occurred when a six year old boy was struck by a truck while crossing a highway between his home and his school. A seven year old died when he drove his scooter down a hill and into an intersection where he collided with a passing car. He died of a traumatic brain injury.
Tricycles were also notorious for causing injuries, and most curious, they were responsible for drowning deaths. Four of the five deaths caused by tricycles resulted in drowning. In all four cases, the children had driven their tricycle in or near a pool and the tricycle flipped/fell into the pool causing the drowning. Only one case was caused by a fall. A one year old boy was riding his tricycle in circles on a concrete pavement when for an unknown reason, he and the tricycle toppled over. The victim hit his head and was rendered unconscious. He was pronounced dead the hospital. This is a perfect example to highlight how important wearing a helmet while riding a bicycle is.
Forty-five percent of the 265,000 injuries occurred to the head and the face area. Twenty-three percent occurred to the arm which includes from the shoulder to the fingers. The leg which includes the thigh, calf, knee, ankle, foot and toes, accounted for 18% of the injuries. Fourteen percent of the injuries were to other areas of the body. The largest type of injury was lacerations, accounting for 24% of all the injuries. Contusions and abrasions accounted for 19%. Sprains and strains accounted for 12% as did fractures. Other diagnoses such as internal injuries, puncture wounds, dislocations, and concussions accounted for the remaining 33%.
Another common injury that often results in death is asphyxia, or suffocation. Two fatalities in 2012 were caused by balloons resulting in suffocation. Another death was caused by a stuffed animal in a crib. Many of the recalls from the CSPC warn of certain suffocation hazards. It is important, especially with younger children, to be sure that their cribs are safe of choking and suffocation hazards and that they are never placed in a toy, crib, cradle, or other device which might result in suffocation. The Nap Nanny is an example of this.
We cannot stress enough how important it is to adequately supervise your children. Some of these fatalities could have been avoided had proper supervision been in place. Others were the result of product defects and parents can stay on top of the recalls and be aware of potential issues with various toys and children’s products. You can also sign up for the CSPC recall app for Android or sign up for their recall email list to get the latest information.