When we choose gifts for a child, we expect that the products we buy will meet some quality standards for safety. After all, toys and games are supposed to bring joy— not pain and suffering—to our young ones. But every year, defective or unsafe toys injure thousands of children all across Texas and the entire United States. It’s time to get the safety facts that you need to know so that you can protect your child from dangerous or defective products.
The CPSC Provides Consumer Education and Research
The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) was created by Congress and signed into existence by President Nixon via the Consumer Product Safety Act of 1972. This agency, which is an independent regulatory commission, reports only to Congress and the President. The CPSC is responsible for monitoring, evaluating, and conducting research regarding consumer product risks; promoting consumer education; developing product safety standards for manufacturers; and arranging recalls when a product is found to be unsafe.
The CPSC’s mandate extends to keeping statistics about children’s toys, and it publishes an annual report detailing toy-related injuries and deaths. For instance, did you know that in 2015, there were about 254,200 injuries to children from toys that resulted in emergency room visits? Almost 176,000 of those injuries were to children aged 12 and under. Thankfully, few children were killed last year due to toys—only eleven—but that’s eleven too many. All but one of the victims was under twelve years old.
Four Ways That Toys Can Be Dangerous
There are a number of ways that a toy or other product intended for the use of children can be risky. Evaluate your shopping choices carefully by keeping a lookout for some of the following hazards:
- Small parts. Keep an eye out for small pieces that may be able to work loose and fall off, be pulled or chewed off, or otherwise removed and block an airway, especially with infants and toddlers. Toys with small parts are not allowed to be sold for children under three at all.
- String, rope, or cords. Loose strings or ropes, pull cords, long strips of fabric, or other long, slender items can wrap around a young throat and cause asphyxiation. Guidelines suggest that for children under 36 months old, any pull-cord or elastic cord over 12 inches long should not have any sort of bead, ring, or other device attached that could cause a lethal tangle around a child’s throat.
- Inflatable balloons. Keep rubber balloons and balloon strings away from infants, toddlers, and young children. At least thirteen children died in balloon-related incidents between 2010 and 2015. Most inhaled or swallowed balloons or balloon pieces, and one was strangled by balloon strings in a crib.
- Toxic chemicals. Some products in the past have contained dangerous or toxic elements. For example, one child’s crafting toy was recalled by the CPSC when it was found to contain a dangerous drug called GHB. Young children ingested the beads and quickly fell ill. Thankfully all of the children recovered, but the product was pulled from shelves globally.
While this list isn’t meant to be exhaustive, these are some of the most common potential dangers that children encounter. With just a little bit of caution when you shop, you can make sure that your kids have a safe and fun time playing with their new toys.
Legal Help for Toy-Related Injuries
If your child has suffered as a result of a dangerous toy or product manufacturing defect, you have our deepest sympathies. We understand the agony of parents who has seen their child suffer. And while money can’t fix everything, we also know that not needing to worry about how the medical bills will be paid can let parents focus more on the healing process. Wayne Wright LLP would like to help you seek the financial compensation that you may be able to receive due to a dangerous children’s product. To contact us for a free evaluation, call us today at 800-237-3334 to discuss your legal options.