Although there have been improvements in product safety regulations, there are still dangerous toys on store shelves that consumers need to be aware of. There is no better time to stress this than during the holiday season.
In 2017, there were an estimated 251,700 toy-related injuries treated in U.S. hospital emergency departments. The Consumer Product Safety Commission is responsible for enforcing toy safety standards and has announced more than 40 recalls of toys and children’s products over the past year.
Manufacturers are not required to inform the public how many toys were returned or repaired, so it is impossible to know how many of these still might be in people’s homes, according to the Public Interest Research Groups.
One of the most hazardous products are button batteries. These are about the size of a dime and come in pretty much everything we use, including our keys and many children’s toys. If swallowed, they can get stuck in the esophagus and could burn through the throat.
Below is a list of toy dangers to watch out for this holiday season, and year around.
1.) Balloon hazards. Keep deflated balloons away from children younger than eight years old. Discard these immediately as these can choke or suffocate a small child.
2.) Slime and slime products. Slime is an increasingly popular toy among children. Whether it is made at home or store bought, a number of these different slimes tested positive for very high levels of Boron. This chemical, if ingested, can cause lots of different health problems, including nausea, vomiting and skin irritation.
3.) Lead poisoning. Lead and other toxins continue to be a hazard in children’s toys. Lead is toxic to the brains of young children and can cause permanent mental and developmental damage.
4.) Small parts. For children younger than three years old, avoid small balls and any toys with small parts. These are choking hazards.
5.) Riding toys. Skateboards, motor bikes, bicycles and in-line skates are a risk for children. Proper safety gear should be given as gifts to accompany these items and should be sized to fit before these new toys are tested out.
6.) Magnet sets. Whether marketed to adults or children, these magnet sets are dangerous and should be kept away from children. Building and play sets with small magnets should be kept away from small children.
7.) Plastic wrapping. Immediately discard plastic wrapping, so younger children are not tempted to play with it.
8.) Age appropriate toys. Keep toys meant for older children away from younger children.
9.) Adapters and battery chargers. Battery-charging should always be supervised by an adult. Chargers and adapters can pose electrocution risk and burn hazards to small children. Read the instructions carefully on these battery chargers. Some lack mechanisms to prevent overheating.
10.) Noisy toys. Avoid purchasing particularly noisy toys. The third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey showed that one in five U.S. children will have some degree of hearing loss by the time they reach age 12. This may be in part due to children using toys and music players that emit loud sounds. The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders advises that prolonged exposure to noise above 85 decibels will cause gradual hearing loss in any age range. Toys that are intended to be held close to the ear should not exceed 65 decibels. Toys held within close range (in a lap or on a table) are not to exceed 85 decibels.
Despite the fact that toy companies attempt to warn consumers of the dangerous nature of these toys, more times than not the warnings are insufficient or otherwise inadequate. Sadly, number one in the mind of a CEO of a toy company is not the safety and enjoyment that the manufactured product brings to a kid’s life, it is the bottom line number – how much the company will profit.
According to Safe Kids USA, choking, drowning, strangulation, or a motorized vehicle incident causes many toy-related fatalities. Yet, it must not be forgotten that South Florida personal injury lawyers sue companies for choking-related deaths from dangerous toys such as balloons and small play balls. Also, many lawsuits filed in Miami by child injury lawyers are based upon consumer product safety violations committed by the toy companies.
HAS YOUR CHILD BEEN INJURED DUE TO A DANGEROUS OR DEFECTIVE TOY THIS HOLIDAY SEASON? SPEAK TO A MIAMI CHILD INJURY LAWYER TODAY: 1-866-597-4529.
Our Miami child injury attorneys are dedicated to keeping our children safe by holding manufacturers, schools, and operators of amusement activities responsible for the injuries that their negligence causes. Our firm has over 25 years of experience in representing families of children injured and killed across the State of Florida due to the carelessness of others. If your child has been involved in an accident in Florida, call Aronfeld Trial Lawyers for a free initial consultation regarding their legal rights as an accident victim.