These summer toys may be more dangerous than you think

These summer toys may be more dangerous than you think

The days are longer. You’re looking for activities for your children to do during the day to get outside and have fun. But just how safe are some of these common summer toys?

“Unfortunately, many summer toys can be dangerous for children of all ages,” says Dr. Nina Muhammad, an emergency medicine physician at Advocate Children’s Hospital. “As the weather warms up every year, we see fractures on a daily basis, often from falls off of trampolines and monkey bars.”

Dr. Muhammad weighs in on the safety of some of the most popular outdoor activities:

  • Slip and slides: Neck and head injuries are a major concern with these, as most children tend to slide head first. Additionally, hazards like rocks and branches can be under or around the toy and lead to injuries. People may not realize the water that collects in these slides can pose a drowning risk, as well.
  • Water balloons: Depending on the force and location on the body at which a child or adult is hit with a water balloon, serious injury can occur. Injuries to the eyes are not uncommon. Balloons also pose a suffocation risk, as they can be accidentally inhaled and can completely block the airway.
  • Water beads: Also sometimes referred to as sensory beads, water beads have been ingested by many children. These dangerous toys start out small but are superabsorbent and can grow up to 1,500 their original size. When swallowed, they can continue to grow and lead to deadly blockages. And because of their makeup, water beads are not always easy to detect on imaging.
  • Trampolines: Trampolines are a major cause of broken bones and head and neck injuries. While you may think they are simply not for young children, as kids get older, they tend to try flips and tricks on trampolines and can wind up with severe spine and head injuries.
  • Bounce houses: This is a big summer activity that leads to emergency room visits. Injuries from bounce houses tend to be similar to those from trampolines. With both toys, there is the risk of multiple children being hurt from jumping or falling on one another.

Dr. Muhammad says parents can mitigate some risk by incorporating certain safety features.

“Using a trampoline net or clearing the surrounding area of a slip and slide can make a difference, but at the end of the day, constant supervision is critical. We need to monitor what our children are playing with – and how they are playing.”

The most severe summer injury she sees?

“Drownings. I cannot adequately express just how critical both water safety and constant supervision is of children around any body of water.”

Are you trying to find a pediatrician? Look here if you live in Illinois. Look here if you live in Wisconsin. 

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One Comment

  1. Thank you for the warnings on these Summer toys that sometimes we think they aren’t of any danger to our kids.

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About the Author

Holly Brenza
Holly Brenza

Holly Brenza, health enews contributor, is a public affairs coordinator on the content team at Advocate Health Care and Aurora Health Care. She is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Chicago. In her free time, Holly enjoys reading, watching the White Sox and Blackhawks, playing with her dog, Bear and running her cats' Instagram account, @strangefurthings.