When Toys Harm Children
The holidays are a perfect time to be reminded of the importance of child safety when making toy purchases.
Everyone agrees that products that are designed specifically for children need to be safe. Even so, roughly 265,000 children were treated in U.S. emergency rooms in 2012 for injuries related to toys.
What constitutes a defect that puts a child at risk? And what recourse do parents have after a child is harmed? If you find yourself caring for a child who has been injured by a defective toy, you will need compassionate, but aggressive legal help within four years of the accident. After that, the statute of limitations expires, leaving you little recourse.
Dangers in the Toy Aisles
Some product defects are obvious. A toy with particularly sharp edges that could easily cause harm might be an example of such a defect. But other defects are much more difficult to pin down.
For example, consider the My Sweet Love and My Sweet Baby Cuddle dolls. They were both recalled in 2014 after it was discovered that circuit boards inside the dolls tended to overheat and cause burns to children. Due to a manufacturing defect that could not be seen by unsuspecting parents, several children were injured.
Another hidden danger comes from toys that contain magnets. If swallowed, many of these powerful magnets can cause horrendous problems in the intestines of children. Over 20,000 units of Design Idea Neatlife Rubber Duck Magnets were recalled because the tiny magnets fell out of the pieces, making them easy targets for children to swallow.
Yet another problematic class of toy is the polymer variety that expands in water. Small children could ingest the toys, only to experience a blockage after the toy expands. Such obstructions could be life threatening.
Lead is a serious problem associated with some toys that are imported from China. Brightly colored, attractive items appeal to youngsters, who often suck on them. The amount of exposure from this alone can impact brain development.
Some common toys are associated with choking hazards. Toys with small parts, balloons, and marbles are typical culprits. Still others have chemicals that are dangerous.
Parents Play it Safe
With all of the hazards out there, what’s a conscientious parent to do? Here are some tips to follow when making toy purchases for your children:
- Check out toy manufacturers online to see if they use toxic materials.
- Look for small parts that are included with the toy. Consider whether younger children in the house may be put at risk when an older child’s toy is left out.
- Check to see that toys made of fabric are not flammable, and are
- Make sure all art materials are labeled as non-toxic.
- Read labels and buy only toys that are age appropriate. Keep in mind that anything with a diameter smaller than one and three-fourths inches can become lodged in the throat and hamper breathing.
In the event you end up with a hazardous toy in your home, especially one that is defective or that has been recalled, return it to the manufacturer before your child is harmed. If that wasn’t possible and your child did experience an injury, you may be entitled to damages from the manufacturer. Let our experienced injury attorneys investigate and provide you with the legal expertise you need after an injury. Our team will fight to get you the settlement you deserve. Contact The Law Offices of Robert W. Elton in Daytona Beach today for your free, confidential consultation.