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Characterization of More Than a Third of a Million Toy-Related Fractures

March 17, 2022

Journal: Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons

Who: Scott J. Halperin, BS; Sofia Prenner; Harold G. Moore, BS; Jonathan N. Grauer, MD

Overview: The toy industry has grown substantially over time, with billions of dollars of toys sold each year in the United States alone. Even after safety considerations, injuries can result. This study examined toy-related fractures in the US Emergency Departments (ED).

The 1999 to 2018 National Electronic Injury Surveillance System from the US Consumer Product Safety Commission was examined data for fractures involving a toy-related injury. The incidence, trends, and anatomic locations for such fractures were assessed.

In total, 347,135 toy-related fractures were identified, of which 237,754 (68%) were in patients younger than 18 years, 182,516 (53%) were sustained by male subjects, and a 95% yearly incidence increase was observed over the years of the study. Anatomically, 37% were shoulder/arm/elbow, 24% wrist/hand/finger, 19% ankle/toe/foot, 10% leg/knee, 6% face/neck/head, and 4% trunk/pubic region.

Despite safety considerations with toy design, more than a third of toy-related fractures were seen in the ED, with a nearly doubling yearly incidence over the study period. This could be contributed to by increased production and prevalence of toys and/or rougher play and increased overall violence. These results are important not only for patient safety but also for orthopaedic surgeons, EDs, toy manufacturers, and policymakers.

Submitted by John Ready on March 17, 2022