Report names top 5 dangerous summer toys
NEW BLOOMFIELD —
World Against Toys Causing Harm released named the top five toys parents and caregivers should be wary of in their 2018 Summer Safety Report.
The organization said the combination of warm weather and school vacation is an opportunity for kids to enjoy the outdoors but is also a time for injuries. According to W.A.T.C.H.'s report, summer accounts for nearly half of all injury-related deaths to children. Hospital emergency departments will treat about 2.5 million children injured in accidents.
W.A.T.C.H. released their report with the belief that awareness of the potential dangers of popular family activities could stifle the track record of injuries and deaths-- and save lives.
All-terrain vehicles, or ATVs, topped the list. According to the report, there are about 650 deaths and 100,000 injuries involving ATVs. ATVs are prone to overturning, associated with high crash rates and may even be even more difficult to control on paved roads.
The organizations recommends prohibiting a child from operating an ATV, noting that even as passengers kids are at risk. Safety precautions such as helmets and protective clothing could minimize the risk of some injuries but will not prevent all injuries.
W.A.T.C.H. has also named slingshots as a potential backyard play hazard. They are historically banned in some states, including Massachusetts due to the high risks associated with the toy. The blunt force whatever is 'slinged' from the toy could pose the potential dual threat of blunt force trauma to eyes and choking hazards.
Varying types of this toy can also be found, including water balloon slingshots. Though water may seem harmless, they also pose a similar threat.
Lawn darts can also pose a risk. If sharp, they can pierce through a child's skin.
They are offered in modified versions with blunt, weighted bottoms. Intended to be thrown while playing outdoor games, they could potentially lead to blunt force head injuries if not careful.
Another popular summer safety hazard are on-ground or inflatable water slides.
Made popular with the typical Slip 'N' Slide, water slides bring the fun to any summer party. Parents should be aware that such slides are only meant to be used by children under a certain size and weight. Adults and teens have been warned to not use these types of summer products as life-threatening injuries, including paralysis, have occurred.
"Because of their size, older children and adults risk spine, head, neck and other life-threatening injuries from using this slide," a warning label for Little Tikes Wet and Dry First Slide reads.
Water safety is another vitally important issue.
About 54 percent of fatal drownings to children under five years old occurred at homes. Pools are a great way to cool off, but whether above ground or in-ground, they require a particularly watchful eye.
According to the report, 10 people die in the United States every day from accidental drowning and an average of 66 children young than 15 drown in above-ground pools annually.
W.A.T.C.H. says when it comes to water safety, multiple barriers of protection should be used to prevent access to the pool. They say parents should also remove toys from the pool when they're not in use as to not entice a child and to always check water safety measures used around the home and backyard. That means checking pool covers, alarms, automatic locking gates and other implemented safety measures.
The organization said the most important thing it for parents and caregivers to remain vigilant. The younger the child, the more watchful you should be. With increased awareness, safer products and knowing the facts injuries-- and deaths-- can be prevented.