When it comes to buying toys as gifts for your loved ones during the holiday season, you want the perfect gift that makes the child excited and happy. However, you need to stop and think about whether the toy you are gifting is entirely safe for the child.
Toy-related injuries are quite common, and in fact, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, in 2016 emergency rooms across the United States reported as many as 174,000 injuries involving toys, including those as seemingly safe as rubber balls and balloons.
Consumer Reports has essential toy safety tips that every gift-giver should keep in mind these holidays. First, make sure the toys you gift are age-appropriate. Fortunately, all toys are now labeled with suggested age ranges that make the age group for which toy is intended quite clear. For example, toys with small parts are not recommended for children below the age of three. Small detachable parts can easily come loose and can pose a serious choking hazard to a child.
Experts suggest that consumers go one step further, and avoid buying any kind of toys with detachable parts when there are younger children in the same home. Remember, that siblings tend to share toys and a younger child could easily access these dangerous toys that were gifted to the older sibling. For instance, fidgets spinners may be safe for older children but definitely not for toddlers.
Avoid toys that come with high-powered magnets. These small magnets are extremely shiny, round and smooth textured, and therefore are very attractive to children who may be inclined to put them in their mouths. When a child swallows these magnets, they become attached to each other inside his body causing serious medical complications. The kinds of injuries that can result from such swallowing hazards are not just long-lasting, but could even result in death.
Avoid toys that have high concentrations of lead. Some toys come with dangerous levels of lead, in addition to other dangerous chemicals like phthalates. Lead exposure is known to cause neurological damage in young children.
Ride toys, like bicycles and tricycles, are very popular during the holiday season. If you are buying these for your loved ones, make sure you buy age-appropriate protection gear, including helmets, elbow pads, knee pads and others.
Also, before you buy a gift make sure that it is not included in a recall. Check the Consumer Product Safety Commission website for all toy recalls issued in 2017. The agency issued 28 toy recalls this year. Make sure that your gift is not on any recall list.
Your gift should launch many wonderful memories, not a trip to the emergency room. This holiday season, be extra vigilant and responsible in your gift giving.
The Indiana product liability lawyers at Montross Miller Muller Mendelson & Kennedy, LLP represent persons who have been injured as a result of dangerous products across Indiana. If you have been injured as the result of the use of a defective product, call an attorney at our firm.