CHARLOTTE, NC – Toys are a big part of the holiday season, but they can be dangerous too. A pediatrician explains how he protects his three children.
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In 2020, nearly 200,000 toy injuries sent children to the emergency room, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission
Construction sets were the specifically identified toy category related to the most rated toy-related injuries in children 4 years of age and under
Non-motorized scooters were associated with the most rated injuries
Novant Health pediatrician Dr Sumon Bhowmick has his hands full when he’s at home. He has 6 year old twins and a 4 year old daughter.
“They are full of energy,” said Bhowmick. “They are smart, kind and can be of help.”
They can also be loud and exuberant. He tries to protect them, but it’s hard to avoid all injuries at their age.
“They had minor injuries on the stairs, tripping over sofas and things like that,” Bhowmick said.
When it comes to toys, he is very picky about what is allowed in the house. The first thing he checks on a toy is the age tag. He says parts of the toy may pose a choking hazard to children under a certain age. Then he reads the reviews.
“It was a reel, but of course part of it broke,” Bhowmick said. “Even if it does, it’s very strong plastic, so if you drop them they don’t twist or shatter into sharp pieces.”
He pays attention to the material of the toy. He said the magnetic tiles are a great toy because the magnets are securely placed inside a large piece of plastic so children cannot swallow them.
“Magnets are very scary if someone ingests them,” Bhowmick said. “Mostly, if there are multiple magnets, they can connect inside and cause problems with your intestines.”
Finally, he asks his children to clean their toys when they are finished, as children can be injured by stepping on or tripping over a toy.
“Any parent will tell you that the best thing for our children is to be healthy, smart and safe,” said Bhowmick. “Being able to launch these lessons through toys is probably one of the best things you can do.”
Several large toy companies ensure product registration. Once the toy is registered, the company will send a notification if the product is recalled. Look for a registration card in the toy box or on the manufacturer’s website.