Glittering packages with pretty bows carefully placed under a beautifully decorated tree is the postcard picture that most people have of Christmastime. And while the toys inside those packages are usually safe, many are not. Sometimes the hazards are obvious, but more often they are not. Many toys can injure or kill an unsuspecting child.
In fact, a recent Forbes article notes a study by the Center for Injury Research and Policy that found in 2011, an injury related to a toy sent a child to the ER every three minutes. Ride-on toys and scooters accounted for nearly half of the injuries.
What is a parent to do to ensure the toys they buy their children are safe? There are some steps that can help reduce the risk to both parent and child:
Check Recall List – The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is responsible for making sure all consumer products in the U.S., including toys, are safe. Parents should check the agency’s website, www.cpsc.gov to see if the toy has been recalled.
Look For Independent Testing – Unfortunately, the CPSC does not have the resources to test every product. The agency is forced to rely on the manufacturer to comply with regulations and, many times, they don’t. Some independent companies do test toys for safety compliance. Also, the magazine Consumer Reports tests many toys. Other not-for-profit agencies test toys as well. Look for testing on your child’s toy before you buy.
Inspect It Yourself – While it will never replace compliance with safety standards, when you purchase a toy, you can do a basic inspection. Look for loose parts and sharp corners. Examine the toy for cracking or loose paint. If the toy has batteries, make sure the battery compartment has a tight latch and is not easily opened. If the toy has removable magnetic parts, throw those away. Many children have been injured or killed by swallowing magnets.
Register the Toy and Keep Your Receipt – If the toy has a registration form (now often online), register the product. If the product is recalled, that is the best and fastest way to get notified.
The holidays are fun and exciting times. By following these simple steps, you can help make sure those times are full of holiday cheer and not a trip to the emergency room.
For over 20 years, our team at Dixon Law Office has helped personal injury victims get the compensation they deserve. For a free consultation, call us at toll-free at 888-354-9880 or click here.