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Health: Toy Related Injuries Increasing

By Stephanie Stahl

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- This is the time of year many parents are shopping for toys for their children.  Now a new study shows injuries from toys, especially the ride-on type, have significantly increased. Foot-powered scooters are popular and fun for kids, but also dangerous.

New research from Nationwide Children's Hospital shows injuries related to toys have increased nearly 40 percent in the past two decades.  For small children, the hazard is choking on small toys, but toys on wheels caused the most injuries.  Dr. Gary Smith with the Hospital says, "Injuries associated with ride-on toys typically resulted from a fall. And those injuries were often cuts to the face or the head, sometimes, fractures, and more rarely, a traumatic brain injury."

Ride-on toys include scooters, wagons, tricycles and motorized cars for kids. Bicycles were not included in the study.   "When parents buy toys, they need to read warning labels and information on package to make sure that toy is appropriate for that child base on their child's age," says Dr. Smith.  He adds, when it comes to ride-on toys, children should be supervised and always wear a helmet.

Researchers say every three minutes a child is treated in the emergency room for a toy related injury and those numbers are growing. The Toy Industry Association says while the injuries may happen when a toy was being used, that doesn't mean the toy itself caused the injury.

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