4 Toys a Pediatrician Wouldn’t Buy for Her Kids
As you shop for the kids on your holiday list, be sure to consider safety when choosing toys and other gifts. And heed these words of caution from Golisano Children’s Hospital Pediatrician Dr. Anne Brayer to avoid some popular items that could land a child in the emergency room.
- Trampolines: No single item sends more children to the emergency room each year than trampolines; more than 100,000 people annually end up in the ER from trampoline injuries, many of them children. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has long discouraged trampoline ownership, and a study showed that even those equipped with nets and other safety measures don’t provide much of anything in the way of additional protection.
- Baby walkers: The AAP issued a statement calling for an outright ban on baby walkers, which send thousands of young children to hospitals every year. If left unsupervised even for a second, a baby can walk their way to a flight of stairs, or over to the stove, or into the bathroom, where they could fall into the bathtub or grab some medication. What’s more: These devices, which have been banned in Canada since 2004, do NOT help your baby to walk any sooner. (In fact, the opposite may be the case!)
- Foam-tipped dart guns: We regularly see children in our emergency room who have been on the wrong end of a toy dart gun accident; the vast majority of them have taken a foam dart or arrow to the eye. If your children do play with these toys, have them wear protective goggles to ensure they don’t get hurt.
- Toys with lithium batteries that aren’t properly secured: Those small, silver “button” batteries can be very dangerous if ingested, and several thousand children annually are admitted to emergency rooms for button-battery related exposures. The AAP has previously warned consumers about these batteries, which can be found in remote controls, calculators, and flashlights, in addition to many toys.
Anne Brayer, M.D., is a professor of Pediatrics and Emergency Medicine and pediatric emergency physician at UR Medicine’s Golisano Children’s Hospital. Brayer is the director of the Injury Free Coalition of Rochester, which aims to reduce childhood injuries.
Lori Barrette |