Unsafe Toys

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reports that approximately 262,300 children were treated for toy-related injuries in U.S emergency rooms in 2011. Forty-four percent of these children suffered lacerations, contusions and abrasions, and 45% of the injuries were made to the head and face. In addition, there were 13 toy-related deaths among children under age 15 in 2011.

Although all toys made for children under age 14 must comply with the federal toy safety standard, dangerous toys still make their way to the market and toy store shelves. Dangerous elements to watch out for include:

  • toys with sharp edges or pointy pieces
  • toys with small, detachable pieces that a child could choke on
  • toys with long cords or strings that can be wrapped around a child’s neck
  • toys with flammable fabrics that can easily melt or catch on fire
  • high-volume toys that can damage the eardrum
  • toys containing projectiles or other shooting abilities
  • toys containing high-powered magnets that can be life-threatening if swallowed
  • toys made of PVC plastic, lead or that include xylene, toluene, or dibutyl phthalate

Parents must stay vigilant against toys with dangerous aspects. Nonetheless, manufacturers have the first line of responsibility to create toys that are safe and that come with adequate, prominent and accurate warnings against its potential dangers.

If manufacturers fail in their duty to produce a safe toy, they should be held liable for any injuries that result from their product.

How to avoid dangerous toys

Before buying a toy or allowing your child to play with a new toy, carefully read the labeling on the package.  Only permit your child to play with the toy if it’s age-appropriate and has none of the dangerous elements listed above.  You should also take care to supervise your child’s play. If you see the toy being used in an dangerous manner, take it away until your child is able to use it properly.

If you are uncertain as to the safety of a particular toy, you can visit www.recalls.gov to find out whether the toy has been recalled. There, you can also sign up to receive email alerts to be informed of new toy recalls.

What to do if your child has a toy-related injury

If you child suffers an injury from a toy, after appropriate medical attention, report the unsafe nature of the toy to saferproducts.gov, who will automatically notify the CPSC.

If your child’s injury is serious, don’t hesitate to consult an experienced dangerous or defective toy attorney to find out your rights. You may be entitled to financial compensation for your child’s injury if the injury was due to:

  • a hazardous design
  • inaccurate or misleading labeling
  • inappropriate age recommendation
  • a failure to warn of dangers inherent in the toy or potentially dangerous uses.

Manufacturers have a duty to their smallest consumers of their products.  If they disregard this responsibility and a child gets injured, they should be held accountable.

The California dangerous toy attorneys the Appel Law Firm LLP are dedicated to helping to children throughout California receive compensation for injuries arising from defective or unsafe toys.