Many of us tend to trust that the gifts we purchase for our loved ones over the holidays are going to be safe. However, according to the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), there are hundreds of thousands toy-related injuries every year. Hardly a week goes by without news of a dangerous toy being recalled. December is National Safe Toys and Gifts Awareness Month, and is also a perfect opportunity to remind ourselves how to keep our loved ones safe over the holidays.
Make sure that toys are age appropriate, be sure to check labels, and if a toy has small parts that are deemed a choking hazard, be very cautious about giving it to young children. Follow age guidelines as they are usually not suitable for children aged three and under. Small parts are items that can fit inside a tube of toilet paper. In addition to making sure toys are age appropriate, also ensure that they are appropriate to the child’s skill level and developmental age. Once you have ensured that the toy is age appropriate, make sure that younger siblings cannot access it. Some toys are inherently dangerous and should be avoided. Balloons may seem harmless, but children can choke or suffocate on deflated or broken balloons. Avoid giving balloons to children under the age of eight. High powered magnets are also dangerous. Children can swallow them, and they can cause severe damage to internal organs.
Electronic and Riding Toys
Although scooters and riding toys are not inherently dangerous, they can be if they are used without appropriate safety gear. If you gift a child a riding toy, make sure to purchase all the appropriate safety gear along with it, including a helmet, knee pads, and elbow pads. Avoid giving toys with ropes or strings that pose a risk of strangulation. Toys with rechargeable batteries should only be used with adult supervision. Adapters and chargers pose a risk of thermal burn to children. Not all chargers have a mechanism to prevent overcharging, and can cause fires if not unplugged once fully charged.
Keeping Areas Safe
Once everyone has torn into their gifts, make sure to clean-up the surrounding area. Discarded wrapping paper and toy packing poses special dangers. Even if a toy does not have small parts that pose a choking hazard, this does not guarantee that the packaging is safe. With all toy gifts, look for labels that state that the item has passed the American Society for Testing and Materials (ATSM) standards test. Be aware that some toys contain lead. Older toys are more likely to contain high levels of lead; however, many new toys have been recalled due to the application of lead based paints.
New Jersey Product Liability Lawyers at Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow & McElroy, LLP Advocate for Children Injured by Dangerous ToysIf you or someone you love has been injured by a dangerous or defective product, the experienced New Jersey product liability lawyers at Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow & McElroy, LLP can help you obtain answers and hold the responsible parties accountable. With offices located in Edison, Red Bank, and Toms River, we represent clients throughout New Jersey. Call us today at 732-777-0100 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation.