Toy danger: scooters blamed for surge in injuries

Research shows children under 5 at most risk of suffering injury while playing with toys

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In America, one child is treated in A&E every 3 minutes for a toy-related injury. It’s a shocking statistic, and although it’s based on US figures, it’s unlikely to be very different in the UK. More than half of the injuries involve children under 5. The key message for children and parents is that we all need to take care with toys. And scooters are one of the biggest hazards.

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Foot-powered scooters caused an estimated 580,037 injuries in the US in 2011. Researchers say that the growing popularity of scooters has caused the injury rate to increase nearly 40% since 1990. The study by the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in the US, is the first of its kind.

With Christmas coming up and wishlists filling up with toys, what can you do to keep your little ones safe?

Here are some important things to watch out for:

  • Always follow age restrictions – particularly paying attention to toys unsuitable for under 3s
  • Always follow manufacturer guidelines and instructions for all toys
  • Examine toys for small parts that could be choking hazards for young children
  • Buy toys from recognised shops and outlets
  • Use riding toys, such as scooters, on dry, flat surfaces away from traffic
  • Closely supervise any child who is younger than 8 on a riding toy
  • Wear helmets, kneepads, and elbow pads on scooters and other riding toys with wheels
  • Check Trading Standards to see if toys that you own have been recalled
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