Summer isn’t just fun and games.
Just ask EMTs and emergency room doctors.
Between 2010 and 2012, an average of 26 children drowned in pools and spas over the Fourth of July holiday week, according to the consumer watchdog group World Against Toys Causing Harm, which issues an annual list of hazardous summer toys.
This summer, hospital emergency departments will treat 2.7 million children injured in accidents.
So for more than 30 years the Massachusetts-based W.A.T.C.H. has crunched statistics, examined what toys have caused children the most harm — and have the most potential to hurt them — and placed those toys on a naughty list.
The 2016 list, announced on Tuesday at a children’s hospital in Boston, includes hoverboards, toys that shoot projectiles, airborne toys such as flying helicopters, shallow kiddie pools, flotation devices such as water wings or rafts, pool covers, bouncy houses and backyard trampolines, non-motorized scooters, drawstrings and bicycle helmet straps and toys with small parts.
Those aren’t the only risky toys on the market, said the group’s president, Joan Siff, but they represent the range of hazards children can face with summer toys.
Take toy guns, the group’s No. 1 most dangerous summer toy. According to W.A.T.C.H., eye injuries from airsoft and pellet guns increased more than 500 percent between 2010 and 2012.
“Unfortunately, we see quite a few blunt trauma injuries from toy guns, especially to the eyes, when a projectile comes in,” pediatric emergency medicine expert Mark Waltzman at Boston Children’s Hospital told CBS News.
“The pellet guns are more powerful. I’ve actually seen kids lose eyes because of them. I saw one thin kid, where the pellet went into his abdomen and he had to go to the OR (operating room).”
Remote control flying helicopters? Rigid or sharp edges can cut any part of the body, but especially the head, said Waltzman.
“Kids need to play and have fun, but as a pediatric emergency room physician, I see some really bad outcomes of very common things,” he said.
“If we, as parents, see them doing behaviors using toys in ways not designed then we need to correct them.”
Safety advocates and pediatricians have come down particularly hard on backyard trampolines in recent years because of the injuries they’ve caused children, including broken bones, concussions, sprains, neck and spinal cord injuries, and paralysis.
The American Academy of Pediatrics has warned parents against having them and says that trampolines used for a structured sports training program should always be used with proper supervision and safety in mind.
The W.A.T.C.H. safety report also recommended that parents and caregivers review water safety precautions with children.
Siff called drowning “quick and silent.” In 2013 about 87 percent of fatal drownings among children younger than 5 happened at someone’s home.
The group also placed the controversial self-balancing scooters called hoverboards on its watch list. Though they’ve been banned by some stores because they have caused fall injuries and spontaneously burst into flames, some remain on the market, the group warned.
“I hate hoverboards,” said Waltzman.