Beware The Tricycle: Research Suggests Trikes Are Dangerous

Tricycles are the cause of thousands of hospital trips for children in the U.S.

Beware the tricycle.

There is pretty much nothing your child can touch that doesn’t have some warning slapped on it for being unsafe. The latest victim? The dreaded tricycle.

Research conducted at the Medical College of Georgia and Emory University has warned parents that a tricycle can kill their children. You read that right.

More likely, the research found, they’ll get a scrape that might need stitches, but make no mistake about it, your child can end up with an amputated limb because of their Radio Flyer.

Mind you, according to The Associated Press “less than 3 percent of the [injured] children had to be hospitalized, but those youngsters had serious injuries including limb amputations, fractures and internal organ damage.”

Beware the tricycle.

According to the AP, the research was conducted because previous information on the safety of trikes and their risk to young lives is scant. I guess it never occured to researchers in the past to learn how much of a death trap tricycles really are. 

As it turns out, there were 9,000 trike-related injuries in the United States in 2012 and 2013. Not so surprisingly, the most frequently injured were two-year-olds (I don’t know about you but my two-year-olds were delicate and rarely injured. That tends to be a laid back age) and were more commonly boys. Also not even a little bit surprising, the most common injury was "skin gashes."

Let’s be real here. Tricycles aren’t the cause of injuries in two-year-olds. Being a two-year-old is the cause of injuries in two-year-olds. I’d hazard a guess that more children are injured jumping on beds than they are by tricycles. But of course, we need official warning recommendations around trike safety now.

The American Academy of Pediatrics is recommending parents wait until three to let their child mount a tricycle and chose bikes that have a low profile and big wheels. So… a Big Wheel. Of course a helmet is also recommended in order to protect against head injuries, which are also a common tricycle-related injury.

“Proper supervision is advised, including keeping little cyclists away from pools and streets,” The AP said. Well, duh.

This is classic case of a study that was only ever going to find that common sense prevails. It’s a study that is pointing a finger at a beloved piece of childhood and screaming ‘this could kill you!’ Could it? Yes. It could if it were to fly into a road. But so could walking down a street if a car loses control. That doesn’t make walking down the street unsafe.

“Tricycles might seem pretty tame but they send thousands of kids to emergency rooms each year,” the AP report began. So does tripping on a floor while running and hitting youe head on a table. This study found nothing more than kids are sent to emergency rooms every year for playing. 

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