Toy Safety During the Holidays

Author: Russ Janklow

The holidays are a time of joy, especially for young children. The excitement on their faces when they receive an unexpected gift can be a rewarding sight. Unfortunately, there are companies who create products that could turn that surprise into a painful accident. Product liability is the area of law that provides injured consumers with a way to recover damages as a result of injury by defective product.

The U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission has found that anywhere between two hundred and three hundred defective products are recalled each year. Some of the most commonly defective products are motor vehicles, car seats, prescription drugs – and toys. Household products and toys can be either manufactured with defects that pose a danger to both infants and older children. In fact, an estimated 36 percent of the toy-related emergency room visits in 2013 were associated with children between the ages of 5 and 12. These risky products can include:

Riding toys. Non-motorized scooters are the toy category most commonly associated with injuries.

Balloons. Popped or non-inflated balloons can be an asphyxiation risk.

Small toys. Due to their size, these can also carry a risk of airway blockage.

The best way to help your children avoid dangerous products is to take precautionary measures. Here are some helpful toy safety guidelines:

  1. Notice all age restrictions on toys. They are usually in place to keep safety hazards, such as sharp edges, away from young children.
  2. Immediately discard any toys with breaks, tears, or other quality concerns.
  3. Read all instructions, and demonstrate the toy’s proper use to your children.
  4. Throw away all plastic wrap before giving to children.

If an injury has occurred as the result of a dangerous product, be sure to keep all evidence related to the incident. The product itself, or any packaging related to it, may be instrumental when it comes to proving fault in a product liability case.

If a defective product has injured you or a loved one, it is important to contact an experienced attorney as quickly as possible. The fault for product liability cannot only fall on the manufacturer of the product, but also on those who sold and distributed it. If you do not work with an attorney experienced in product liability, the retailer may avoid responsibility for carrying a dangerous product.