The toys that emergency room physicians advise against giving to kids

The toys that emergency room physicians advise against giving to kids

We often desire to choose entertaining toys when we go toy stores. Can some of them, nevertheless, also be harmful?

Emergency department doctors say that they can be. Meghan Martin, a pediatric emergency medicine doctor at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg, Florida, said in a TikTok video that went viral that certain presents may send kids to the emergency room.

In a phone conversation, Martin said, “It’s important to know the risks,” adding that it is the responsibility of parents to make choices based on that knowledge.

Based on statistics from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, about 145,500 emergency department visits for children aged 12 and under were caused by accidents from toys in 2022.

Which toys are the riskiest, then? What can adults do to assist keep children safe? is a question posed to emergency room physicians nationwide by The Washington Post.

Water droplets

These vividly colored beads are well-liked sensory toys because they expand tremendously when submerged in water. However, physicians at emergency rooms and specialists in safety advise against them.

Little ones may insert the beads into their mouths, noses, or, worse, their ears. The director of outreach for the emergency department at Children’s National Hospital in Washington, D.C., Sarah Combs, is an emergency medicine physician. She said that if the beads are ingested, they may continue to absorb water and expand in the digestive track, causing obstructions and potentially fatal damage.

Combs said in her ER that although she has not personally seen these beads lodged in the stomach, she has seen them in the nose and ears. Usually, a specialized instrument is used to remove these things, but sometimes, according to Combs, “we can’t” because the beads are “slippery and expanded.” In some situations, she noted, youngsters could need surgery to have the beads taken out.

Magnetized toys and button batteries
Although many parents are unaware that toys including magnets, buttons, or coin batteries may result in serious internal harm or even death, these toys pose a choking threat.

“Tissue necrosis, or the death of body tissue, can result from swallowing a battery or magnet,” said Kerri Layman, head of emergency medicine at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital in Washington, D.C.

Burns may also result from swallowing button batteries, according to her.

This is the result of a button battery coming into touch with human secretions such as saliva. A burn hole in the tissue may result from a reaction brought on by the battery’s current.

According to Layman, the tiny space behind the thoracic inlet—which is located between the neck and the chest—is where the batteries might get lodged, causing the most significant problems to arise in the esophagus.

Remember that even with the batteries encased, kids may still reach them.

According to Layman, “the screws holding button batteries in place may occasionally be loose and fall out.” But in general, “those that are accessed via a tab closure are much less safe than those that are screwed in properly.”

Helicopters and electric scooters

Pediatric emergency department physicians and safety experts advise against purchasing electric vehicles for kids, such as hoverboards and scooters. They can move quickly, and Combs said that “you don’t really want a child careening at those speeds.”

That may result in fractured bones. In most situations, these fractures may be reset in the emergency department; but, in more severe cases, surgery could be necessary, according to Combs.

Nonmotorized scooters are a major source of accidents even though they are thought to be a safer option: According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, in 2022, they were the product linked to the greatest number of toy-related injuries, accounting for over 23,000 injuries among children aged 12 and under. However, Combs noted that as nonmotorized scooters move more slowly, the injuries they cause are often not as serious.

Give kids ordinary scooters and nonmotorized bikes along with safety gear, according to Combs.

“Ensure that you’re giving the child a helmet and the proper padding as well, and that the helmet is something they will want to wear,” she said. “Select a toy that matches their favorite color or features a cool character to encourage safe play while they’re using it.”


Despite the fact that children like them, trampolines can result in a variety of ailments.

Joanna S. Cohen, a pediatric emergency care specialist at Baltimore’s Johns Hopkins Hospital, has seen sprained ankles and broken arms the most often. She said that this frequently happens when many kids are leaping and run into each other.

Cohen noted that injuries may also result from falling into the trampoline’s springs or frame, from falling off the trampoline, or from trying to do flips or other “risky” acts and landing badly.

According to Martin, little toddlers have also been sent to hospitals with injuries to their lower legs—typically a tibia fracture—after jumping on trampolines. Although it occurs more often when two persons of various sizes are present, it may also occur when a youngster is jumping on the trampoline by themself.

According to Martin, “the bigger person is exerting more force, and that force is being applied to the smaller person.”

Although having a net around it or purchasing an in-ground trampoline may lower the chance of going off, Martin warned that doing so just gives a false feeling of security.

Other projectiles and rocket launchers

Projectile-shooting toys, such slingshots, toy guns, and rocket launchers, may injure your eyes among other parts of your body. According to Combs, there is a chance that the toy may unintentionally explode while the youngster is playing, sending a projectile flying and injuring their eye at close range.

Cohen pleaded with people not to purchase missiles that discharge tiny fragments at kids.

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