Eye On Health: Toy Safety for Christmas - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Eye On Health: Toy Safety for Christmas

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) - Lots of little ones may have a hard time sleeping Wednesday night. They'll most likely be anxious to get up and see what Santa left for them, but a safety reminder from experts to make sure your Christmas is merry.

A recent study shows the rate of toy injuries is up by nearly 40 percent since 1990. 

It's the most comprehensive study to date to track toy related injuries in children.  Researchers analyzed 22 years of data, looking at children 17 years of age and younger and the types of injuries they sustained.

They found one toy in particular was associated with many more the injuries.

"Foot powered scooters were responsible for the majority of the increase we saw. When they were introduced there was a rapid increase in the number of injuries. In fact, I will say that I've never seen anything like it in my career," said Dr. Gary Smith, Nationwide Children's Hospital.

Dr. Smith led the study at Nationwide Children's Hospital. He found that from 1990 through 2011, there were more than 3.2 million children treated in emergency departments for toy related injuries.  

In 2011, a child was treated every three minutes and while children 5 years of age and older were injured most often on ride on toys for those three and under, the biggest risk is choking.  

"For generations these have been some of the most popular toys, but you can see that they easily fit inside of this tube and can be a choking hazard for young children. So keep these for your older children," said Tracy Mehan, Nationwide Children's Hospital.

Remember to always check the package for age restrictions when it comes to buying or giving toys to young children.  And if you're buying something with wheels, Smith says the advice is simple.

"If you have three things that you could do to prevent an injury to a child on a scooter, or other ride on toy, those three things would be: Wear a helmet, wear a helmet, wear a helmet," said Dr. Smith.

You should be careful with hand me down toys or second hand toys because there is a chance some of them have been recalled. So bottom line, just remember to be careful, take safety precautions with small children and most importantly enjoy the Christmas holidays.   

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