The holiday season is just around the corner. For many, this means braving crowds of people at the mall or local shopping center to purchase toys to give to the children in their lives. Most of the toys for sale in the United States today are relatively safe, as certain toys and other children’s products are subject to regulations established by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).
However, according to a CPSC report (available at http://www.cpsc.gov/library/toymemo10.pdf), in the United States in 2010, there were 17 toy-related deaths and 181,500 toy-related injuries in children under the age of 15. Prevention of such tragic incidents starts at the time of purchase. Here are some tips to keep in mind while shopping for toys:
1) Keep in mind the age of the child receiving the toy. Toys should suit the age and abilities of the child.
2) For children under the age of three, and any child who still puts objects in his or her mouth, avoid toys that have small parts or that could pose a choking hazard.
3) Look for products that have labels with safety and age warnings – and follow those warnings.
4) Make sure the instructions for using the toy are clear – both to you and to the child.
5) Look for products that have good design and construction.
6) If you are buying second-hand toys, make sure that the toy has not been subject to a recall in the past. A list of all toy hazard recalls can be found at http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/category/toy.html.
7) Once a toy package has been opened, discard the packaging immediately.
Following the above tips and using common sense when making holiday purchases will help ensure that this holiday season is a happy one. If an injury does occur, and you believe it was the result of a product defect or design flaw, contact an attorney with experience in products liability to discuss your rights.