MOST parents know their children are too young for certain toys, but buy them anyway.
This conclusion was one of the findings of a recent study from
the KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital (KKH).
The hospital surveyed 93 sets of parents and other caregivers in its children’s emergency department from February to April 2012.
It found that 82% had made sure toys were age-appropriate, with 72% checking toy labels for age recommendations.
However, 93% still bought some toys that were inappropriate for their children’s age.
Dr Chong Shu Ling, from the hospital’s department of emergency medicine, said many of these parents thought such toys “would benefit the child educationally”.
Others had bought age-inappropriate toys because they felt their children was “developmentally ready” to play with them, the study which was published in the Singapore Medical Journal last November showed.
The hospital’s children’s emergency department sees more than 500 toy-related injury cases in children under five years old every year.
Dr Chong said that there was a 15% rise in the number of cases from January to September last year, compared to the same period in 2012.
Because these injuries are largely preventable, “we want to encourage parents to be careful with the selection of toys as well as make sure they are supervised during play”, said Dr Chong.
The hospital also released findings of a separate study on bicycle spoke injuries in children.
These are injuries sustained when the foot or part of the leg is caught in the spokes of a bicycle wheel.
This study covered 242 children from January 2008 to December 2010.
Most suffered bruises or superficial injuries, although 37% had more serious injuries such as fractures or dislocations.
Younger children were most at risk, with two-thirds of those sustaining injuries aged between two and six years of age.
Three-quarters of them were pillion riders.
Dr Sashikumar Ganapathy, associate consultant at the hospital’s department of emergency medicine, explained that such injuries were “very easily preventable”.
“It’s very important that we realise very simple measures, such as appropriate footwear ... spoke guards, or seats with appropriate footrests can actually help prevent this.” — The Straits Times / Asia News Network