After your child has made his or her holiday wish list, you might want to check it twice to make sure the toys are safe. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), toy-related child injuries have been on the rise over the past couple decades, and one particular toy may be largely to blame for these injuries.
Foot-powered scooters are believed to be largely responsible for a 40 percent increase in child injuries between 1990 and 2011. This is according to a study published in the medical journal Clinical Pediatrics. Other child health professionals agree: child injuries that resulted in emergency room visits increased by more than 70,000 during that period, which translates to an injury rate of 26.9 per 10,000 children in 2011.
The CPSC reported 52,500 injuries in 2013 and one death due to foot-powered scooters, such as the popular Razor line. Child health advocates agree that safety gear and adult supervision are the best solutions to decreasing these injuries, which most commonly include lacerations, contusions, and abrasions.
Officials urge parents who are gifting a scooter to their children this holiday season to include a helmet and elbow and knee pads as part of the gift. Every year, children should have their safety equipment tested to ensure it still fits and parents should replace it if it no longer fits comfortably or shows signs of damage or wear and tear.
Adults are also a key player in keeping kids safe. Parents should not allow children to ride their scooters without an adult nearby to supervise, and children should not use scooters to ride in or too close to moving traffic. Parents should also be on the look-out for recalls and signs that might indicate a defective product.