The holidays are a time of giving and sharing, and all children look forward to unwrapping their gifts. But please be cautious this holiday shopping season. All parents and gift-givers need to remember that not all toys make appropriate gifts and that some may pose serious safety risks for infants and young children. Here are some tips to keep in mind this year when shopping for the perfect present.
Many Toys Put Sales over Safety
Unfortunately, some toy manufacturers do not live up to the safety standards that parents and consumers demand for their families. In 2014 alone, there were several major recalls of products marketed to young children due to a variety of safety hazards.
One recent recall in November saw McDonald’s pull over 2 million “Hello Kitty Birthday Lollipop” toys from their meals because components of the toy could detach, posing a choking hazard to children using the product.
While a majority of toy recalls are due to detachable parts that pose significant choking hazards, other major dangers that caused toys to be recalled in 2014 included:
– Malfunctioning batteries that can cause burns
– Moving parts or projectiles that can cause eye or face injuries as well as puncture wounds
– Cords or strings that pose the risk of strangulation or entanglement
– Use of toxic lead paint or other harmful chemicals
Toy Safety by the Numbers
The consumer protection organization W.A.T.C.H reports that there were at least 17 toy recalls in 2014 representing nearly 5 million units across the U.S and Canada. Some other key statistics about toy safety include:
– In 2013, the Consumer Product Safety Commission reported that there were a total of 9 deaths related to toys among children under 15 years of age
– 6 of the 9 fatalities involved asphyxiation, 2 involved neck injuries, and 1 involved a riding toy where a child was struck by a motor vehicle
– In 2013 there were an additional 265,000 toy-related injuries treated in emergency rooms
What to Watch For
W.A.T.C.H lists many “Toy Hazards to Watch Out For.” Some warnings signs on this list include:
– Toys with small removable attachments
– Toys with pointed tips, sharp edges, or blunt surfaces that could crush, cut or puncture the skin
– Toys with strings longer than 6 inches
– Toys which require electricity but do not have step-down transformers to reduce the risk of shock or overheating
– Toys with fur or hair that a child may try to ingest
Unfortunately, it can only take just a moment for children to put themselves at risk while playing with a toy. The best thing for parents and guardians to remember is to always read and obey all posted safety warnings on a toy and to adhere to the recommended age limits. Even if you feel your child is old enough to safely handle a certain toy, it is always best to wait until they are within the proper age range.
Also, provide your child with proper supervision at all times to keep them from ingesting small parts or improperly using a toy in a dangerous fashion.
If a defective or dangerous product injures your child, call the caring and experienced Personal Injury & Product Liability attorneys of Graves McLain at 918-359-6600. A caring, dedicated attorney will review your situation at no cost to you.
Our lawyers will speak with you for free to go over the details of your case and will tell you what type of recovery may be available. We will fight hard to protect your rights as a consumer and ensure that manufacturers of defective products are held responsible for their mistakes. Trust our team, we’re here to help.
Graves McLain, Serious Lawyers for Serious Injuries