With the holiday shopping season officially underway, anxious shoppers are hitting the stores to find the perfect gift for their loved ones. If you are buying toys for small children, there are important factors to keep in mind when making your selections. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, at least 13 children under the age of 15 died as a result of toy-related accidents and an estimated 262,300 toy-related injuries sent children to the emergency room in 2011.
The number one injury children suffered was asphyxiation (i.e. – choking on small parts, balloons, even batteries). A good rule of thumb is if a child is under the age of three, do not buy them anything that is small enough to fit through the cardboard tube of a roll of paper towels. This measures approximately 1.25 inches in diameter and is definitely a choking hazard.
The goal is to find toys that your children will enjoy while also making sure they are safe. Below are some guidelines to follow when purchasing toys for children:
- Purchase toys that are age-appropriate. Age labeling is intended for development and safety purposes. It helps you select toys that are suitable for your child’s skills, ability and interest level.
- Research. Browse the web for safety reviews and read product reviews from other parents.
- Always read the labels. Make sure the toy’s label has the letters “ASTM” on it, which means that the toy meets national safety standards set by the American Society for Testing and Materials. Carefully read the safety messages on the packaging so you can judge the appropriateness for your child.
- Inspect the toy. Make sure there are no pointed edges and that the toy is properly put together.
- Avoid guns that shoot or have parts that fly off. Toy guns are a leading factor of eye injuries in children. Toys that have projectile parts or those with pointy edges, like toy weapons or fishing rods can also be dangerous.
- Choose well-made stuffed animals. Make sure the eyes, nose and other small parts are securely fastened.
- Avoid toys with small parts. Babies and small children often put objects in their mouths, which increases the risk of choking.
- Discard packaging. Plastic bags and sharp staples can cause injuries and a suffocation risk to small children.
- Use as directed. Once a toy has passed your inspection, show your child how to use the toy, as misuse of a toy can often lead to injury. It is also a good idea to keep toys for older children away from younger ones.
To provide better service in alerting the American people to unsafe, hazardous or defective products, six federal agencies have joined together to create www.recalls.gov — a “one stop shop” for U.S. Government recalls. Visit this site before heading out to the stores this holiday season.
Toy Safety Is Important, Take Some Time To Research Your Toy Purchase
At the Law Firm of Michael T. Gibson, P.A., we want you to stay safe this holiday season. If you or a loved one have been injured as a result of a damaged or defective product or toy it is important to contact an experienced Orlando Products Liability Lawyer immediately. Product manufactures have a legal responsibility to provide products and toys that are safe and work in their intended manner- this is especially important of children toy manufacturers. Our experienced team of accident attorneys can help you obtain compensation for medical bills, future medical treatment, loss of wages, pain and suffering, etc. Feel free to fill out our quick contact form on our website to discuss your legal options in greater detail.