Each year, over 200,000 children visit the emergency room for a toy related injury. In 2014, 11 children died either directly or indirectly from a toy. While the fatality numbers are declining, even one death is one too many. But, how are these happening? The following are some surprising dangerous toys.
These are not toys but electronic toys use them. Keep in mind more and more toys are becoming electronic. These present a choking hazard for smaller children as well as the potential for internal harm if the acids break loose from the battery. We all know it takes a second for a child to swallow something they shouldn’t. Even the best parents can’t keep an eye focused on their child every second of the day. Here, prevention is the easiest solution to keep the small batteries from becoming a dangerous ‘toy’..
Yes, balloons. This one surprised me as well. Inflated they are fun and pretty. Deflated, they are another choking hazard. Before they are inflated a child can put one in their mouth and suck it far enough down their throat to jam their airwaves. After a balloon pops it becomes an even more dangerous toy. The jagged fragments can be sucked even father down the throat. Keep the new balloons safely away from children. If a balloon pops, don’t wait to gather the remnants and dispose of them where a child can’t reach them.
This can include scooters, tricycles, bicycles and those smaller version cars. Accidents can happen in many ways and some are surprising. The obvious ones are riding in traffic or tipping over and crashing. One rule of thumb to remember is to not let your child ride any toy where a car can also travel. Also, look at the toy’s turning radius. Can it turn sharply enough that it could tip over? Might want to look for a different toy. A surprising one? Drowning. Yes, there are cases where a child has ridden the vehicle into a swimming pool and could not swim. Most deaths from this were unsupervised. A simple rule of thumb is to not let the child ride where a path will lead to a swimming pool. Most accidents from riding happen when the child falls. Always have your children wear a helmet and knee and elbow pads. More padding would not hurt. For those parents considering bubble wrap, remember it could be a choking hazard.
It is easy for parents to think their children are well developed and ahead of those their own age. Don’t let that convince you into buying your child a chemistry set for their third birthday. When buying a toy, look at the age recommendations. Many accidents happen every year because they are playing with a toy above their skill levels. Don’t forget, this can also happen if you have older children in the house. Their toys can be above the age restriction as well. Another reason for your kids to keep their toys picked up. An older child’s toy can become a dangerous one.
This is another one I didn’t think of before reading about it. We use them to place a note on the refrigerator or the magnetic white board. Now, more and more toys are using them as well. Magnets have become so powerful that they have also become smaller presenting another choking hazard. If you use magnets in the kitchen, place them high and out of reach. If you buy toys that use them, be sure they are big enough or won’t break free from the toys to become a choking hazard.
You can see choking hazards are a common theme. When does an item become small enough to be a dangerous toy? They actually have a device that looks like a tube. If you can place the item inside the tube, it is considered a choking hazard. This is the industry standard. You can use the cardboard tube from a toilet paper roll.