We’re in the midst of the holiday gift-giving season. No one enjoys giving gifts more than parents. No one enjoys receiving gifts more than children. However, dangerous, defective toys can turn this annual happy ritual tragic.
Each year, consumer safety organizations such as the U.S. Public Interest Research Group (U.S. PIRG) publish lists of toys they consider hazardous to children, especially very young children. Illinois consumers were warned by the state’s attorney general this year when she also published a list of dangerous toys.
Traits of Dangerous and Defective Toys
In general, the most dangerous toys have:
• Lead and other toxic substances. Exposure to lead has proven to cause developmental problems in children. Small children are especially at risk as they tend to chew on toys and therefore can ingest paint chips containing lead. This year, U.S. PIRG found several toys for sale that contained dangerous lead levels.
• Small parts that can be removed or broken off and present a choking hazard. This is a byproduct of faulty design or defective manufacturing. If toys themselves are small enough, they can be swallowed whole and possibly cause choking.
• Cords, ropes, drawstrings or other elements that can cause strangulation
• Loud sounds and noises that can harm young children’s hearing
Toy safety has improved in the last few years due in part to better consumer protection laws and a heightened level of public awareness and education. But despite recent progress, the dangers from defective toys unfortunately remain.
Victims of dangerous toys – or any type of defective consumer product – may want to explore their legal options with attorneys who are experienced in product liability investigations and litigation.