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This Toy Was Responsible for the Most ER Visits Last Year

According to the CPSC’s annual toy report, an estimated 145,500 toy-related injuries were treated in hospitals last year. See what toys lead to the most accidents and get tips for keeping your child safe.
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By Wyndi Kappes, Associate Editor
Updated November 14, 2023
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Image: Jacob Lund | Shutterstock

With the holidays just around the corner, parents everywhere are on the search for this year’s hottest toys for their little ones. While there are certainly plenty of choices, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is urging parents to carefully consider the safety of what toys they buy for their tots this year.

On November 14, the CPSC released its annual Toy-Related Deaths and Injuries report. While injuries were down 16 percent from last year, the report still found there were 11 deaths and an estimated 145,500 emergency department-treated (ED) injuries in 2022 associated with toys for children 12 years and younger.

“The majority of the 11 deaths reported were attributed to choking or asphyxiation associated with small parts, balls, or balloons. Among the ED-treated injuries, non-motorized scooters accounted for the largest share of injuries across all age groups,” the CPSC shared in a press release. With 35,400 injuries treated in the ER, non-motorized scooters accounted for 1 in every 5 toy-related injuries to children aged 14 and younger.

But, outside of ditching non-motorized scooters, what else can parents do to keep their kids safe? The CPSC offers these four tips:

  1. Follow age guidance and other safety information on toy packaging and choose toys that match each child’s interests and abilities.
  2. Get safety gear, including helmets, for scooters and other riding toys–and make sure that children use them every time.
  3. Keep small balls and toys with small parts away from children younger than age 3 and keep deflated balloons away from children younger than age 8.
  4. Once the gifts are open, immediately discard plastic wrappings or other packaging on toys before they become dangerous playthings.

In the report, the safety organization also noted the importance of being vigilant about where gifts are purchased, especially online. “Consumers expect the products they purchase online to be as safe as those they buy in brick-and-mortar stores,” Chair Hoehn-Saric said.

“While this is true when buying online directly from a manufacturer, purchasing from an online marketplace that services other sellers raises additional risks. Consumers need to educate themselves not only about what they buy, but where and from whom. It’s important not to sacrifice safety.”

You can see more tips for shopping safely online and other information for keeping your household safe over the holidays at CPSC.gov.

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