do not buy!

Here Are The Top Five Christmas Gifts That Can Land A Kid In The Emergency Room

Dr. Meghan Martin, a pediatric emergency medicine doctor, gives her take.

Originally Published: 
A pediatric ER doctor shares a list of toys that she credits with most of her emergency room visits ...
@beachgem10 / TikTok

The holiday season means “must-have” toy lists, “best of” toy lists and even a “do not buy” toy list from a mom who had to learn the hard way. However, there is one top toy list that might be the most important for parents to pay attention to.

Dr. Meghan Martin, a pediatric emergency medicine doctor, recently listed off her take on the top five holiday gifts to avoid giving your kid this year if you don’t want to up your chances of ending up in the emergency room.

First up, Dr. Martin recommends steering clear of toys with small button batteries. Yes, even the ones that appear to be locked in the toy with screws.

“They keep those little compartments closed with these little cheap screws. It's not worth it. They can literally kill kids and they do every year,” she explained.

Over 70 children have died, and tens of thousands have found themselves in emergency rooms after swallowing button batteries.

Next, Dr. Martin advises that parents stop buying water beads.

“These are sold as sensory toys, but little kids can ingest them when they're small and they can get larger and cause bowel obstructions. Don't mess with these with little kids. And they can cause problems with pets too,” she said.

Martin is not alone in her worries about water beads. In fact, Congressman Frank Pallone Jr. of New Jersey plans to introduce a bill — the Ban Water Beads Act — at the House of Representatives aimed at instating a national ban on the toy marketed to kids.

The others on Martin’s list are a bit more obvious when it comes to risk assessment, yet, parents still put them under the tree on Christmas morning, including electric scooters.

She continued, “Kids get going way too fast on these. They hit a bump. They go flying. They mess up their faces, their arms, their heads. It's bad news bears.”

Martin also begs parents to please stop buying hoverboards. Sure, they’re fun. Yeah, they look cool, but the risk way outweighs the reward here.

“We see so many hoverboard injuries right after Christmas. They break their forearms and their elbows and sometimes their heads. Also, they can literally light your house on fire,” she says.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) issued a report showing that injuries associated with these so-called micro-mobility devices increased nearly 21% in 2022 alone, compared to 2021.

Kids were a big portion of those injured, with children 14 and younger accounting for 36% of e-bike, e-scooter and hoverboard injuries during those years. That's double the 18% proportion of the U.S. population that kids comprise.

As for the number one toy that Martin absolutely detests, that honor goes to giant trampolines.

“I detest trampolines. They literally keep the emergency department and the orthopedics team in business. It doesn't matter if you have a net. It doesn't matter if it's buried in the ground. Most of the injuries actually happen on the trampoline. Also, your insurance company may drop you. Homeowner's insurance also hates trampolines. I hope you have a wonderful holiday and do not need to pay me a visit,” she concluded.

According to Mayo Clinic, more than 800,000 children sustained trampoline injuries in the U.S. between 2009 and 2018, most of whom were under the age of 16, according to a 2022 report using a national database and published in Pediatric Emergency Care.

Of these injuries, 34% were long bone fractures in the lower and upper extremities. Radius and ulna fractures were the most common — usually the result of a fall on an outstretched hand.

The data on all these “toys” speak for themselves if you won’t take Martin’s word for it — just don’t do it!

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