Five Potentially Dangerous Children’s Products

Keeping kids safe in today’s world can be a daunting task. Certain toys and activities can increase a child’s risk of injury or death. Here are five of the most dangerous children’s products that parents and caregivers should be aware of.

Key takeaways:
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    Swallowing a button battery can result in life-threatening injuries. Prompt medical attention is required if you suspect your child has swallowed a button battery.
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    Trampoline injuries are common and can result in life-long physical or neurological harm.
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    The use of baby neck floats is strongly discouraged due to the risk of drowning, suffocation, and neck injury.
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    Hoverboards carry a risk of falls, burns, smoke inhalation injury, and property damage.
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    Playground injuries are often serious and can include fractures, head injuries, and strangulation. Swings and climbing equipment are the most dangerous.

1. Items that contain button batteries

Every three hours, a child visits an emergency department for ingesting a battery and button batteries are the most common culprit. They can be found in many household items, including toys, remote controls, watches, and more.

Not only are button batteries a choking hazard for young children, but they can also cause severe tissue damage in as little as two hours after being ingested. This is because button batteries hold a strong electrical current even after being removed from their devices. Once these electrically charged batteries come in contact with saliva, the tissue erosion process begins, resulting in severe internal injuries and even death.

If you suspect your child has swallowed a button battery, call 911 or Poison Control’s battery ingestion hotline at 1-800-498-8666.

2. Trampolines

Trampolines have a high risk for injury in children, especially those without certain safety features like enclosure nets. Up to 30% of trampoline injuries require surgery. The most common injuries are broken bones in the leg or arm, but severe head and neck injuries can also occur. These injuries can potentially cause life-long physical and neurological harm.

3. Baby neck floats

Neck floats are inflatable plastic rings that allow babies to float freely in the water. They are often used while swimming, during baths, or during physical therapy sessions. The FDA warns against the use of baby neck floats due to the risk of serious injury and death. This risk is even higher in children with developmental delays or special needs.

The risks of using baby neck floats include death by drowning or suffocation, as well as injury to the neck or spinal cord.

4. Hoverboards

A type of self-balancing scooter, hoverboards have become increasingly popular among children over the past decade. However, the use of a hoverboard carries risks. The Consumer Product Safety Commission has received numerous reports over the years about children who have been seriously injured due to hoverboard use.

Hoverboards carry a risk of injury due to falls, as well as a risk of severe burns due to overheating battery packs. The tendency of hoverboard battery packs to overheat and ignite can result in bodily harm, smoke inhalation, and property damage.

5. Playground equipment

Playgrounds are one of the most popular places for children to entertain themselves, but they harbor significant risks. According to the CDC, nearly half of all playground-related injuries are severe. These include fractures, concussions, strangulations, and falls. Climbing equipment and swings are responsible for the most injuries.

Active supervision by parents or caregivers while using playground equipment can help decrease the likelihood of injury, but it does not eliminate the risk.

What can you do to protect your child?

It is impossible to fully shield children from every potential hazard. However, parents and caregivers can help by educating themselves about potentially dangerous items their children may come in contact with. Having this information can allow them to make informed parenting decisions regarding the risks of their children’s toys and activities.

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