The holiday season is upon us, which means finishing up the Christmas gift list and picking out something your recipient will never forget.
While December brings Christmas and holiday spirit, lights, trees, and family events, it is also about giving gifts to those we love. That is why December is known as the Safe Toys and Gifts Month – emphasizing safety whenever purchasing gifts for small children.
Dangerous Toys in Louisville Cause Unnecessary Injuries
In 2011 alone, an estimated 262,300 injuries occurred from defective toys. There were also 13 reports of toy-related deaths.
Therefore, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) wants the country to be more conscientious about the toys they purchase for their children and even those toys they give as donations.
You can do your part by making sure you pick safe toys. Safe toys are not just about being age-appropriate either. A safe toy is one that has been inspected, tested, and meets the criteria of a safe toy designated by the CPSC.
If you have found an unsafe or defective toy, report it to the CPSC.
Always Check for Toy Recalls
The CPSC has a page on their website dedicated to toy and product recalls. Before purchasing any gifts this month, check the recall list to make sure you have not considered or bought a toy that has been recalled. Realize that even a toy on the recall list might be on the shelves for sale – and some retailers continue selling long after the product recall.
Consider the Age When Buying
Toys have recommended ages posted on the front of the packaging. These are suggested based on testing and CPSC guidelines. However, these are merely a starting point. Some children are still not mature enough to play with specific toys – even if they are in the recommended age group.
If your child tends to put toys in their mouth, avoid any toys with smaller pieces that can fit into his or her mouth – even if the age recommendation on the toy matches.
Toys that have projectiles are not suitable for children under the age of four – even if they could not put the pieces into their mouth. Projectile objects can injure a small child’s eyes. Even then, older children might not be mature enough to handle toys with projectiles.
Consider the Quality of the Toy
Used toys often have missing pieces, become frayed, or are splintering. Therefore, be cautious when passing down toys from child to child.
Furthermore, when you purchase a toy, consider its quality. Examine it carefully for imperfections, and assess the thickness of plastic and other components. Toys that are flimsy and cheaply made might be more budget-friendly, but also carry a higher risk for breakage – which could lead to a deadly choking hazard.
Look for loose components, such as batteries, buttons, ribbons, yarn, eyes, beads, and other plastic parts that might break free.
Unfortunately, toys made in other countries, especially those sold online, could be poor quality. Therefore, try to purchase toys you can inspect in person.
Always think “big” when it comes to toys for small children. A big size does not mean getting the most massive toy possible, but the size of the toy should always be larger than the child’s mouth – to prevent a possible choking hazard.
Any toys or clothes made from fabric for children must have the proper flame resistant or flame-retardant additive. Toys and clothes are required to have this protectant applied when made by manufacturers in United States.
Ensure Crayons and Paints are Safe
Read the label of any crayons, paints, and art supplies you buy for children. They must have the ASTM D-4236 label, which means the products have been evaluated and approved by the American Society for Testing and Materials do not contain hazardous materials, including lead.
Also, make sure these art products read “non-toxic” on the label so that if a small child does accidentally ingest them, there is no risk of poisoning.
The Child’s Physical Readiness
As a parent, the cost of continuously replacing clothes and toys to suit a child’s size is hard on the budget. Some parents might be inclined to purchase a larger bike that their child can continue to grow into, but this is unsafe. If the child does not have the physical skills to control a larger bike, they could suffer from serious injuries.
Avoid Toys with Cords, Magnets, and Other Hazards
No child’s toy should have a cord longer than 12 inches. Any time there is a cord, string, or ribbon longer than 12 inches it can wrap around the child’s neck and strangle them.
The CPSC considers magnets a hidden hazard in the home for all ages. If a child were to swallow two or more magnets, it could lead to catastrophic organ damage and internal bleeding. When a child eats more than one magnet, they will most likely require emergency surgery. Children under 14 should not have access to any toys containing magnets.
Consider the Noise Factor
While it is usually parents complaining about the noise, some children are not developed enough to handle excess noise. Infants, for example, can become overstimulated and stressed with toys that are too loud and bright.
Also, some toys that are louder than a car horn, could permanently damage a small child’s hearing.
Avoid the Dangerous Objects
Certain toys should never be given to children under 16 years of age, such as fireworks, matches, BB guns, sharp scissors, or balloons.
What if a Defective Product Injures Your Child?
When a defective toy injures your child, you have the right to sue for compensation.
Manufacturers of toys and other consumer products have a duty of care owed to the public. They must test their toys and ensure they are safe for any advertised age. Furthermore, they must conduct quality control checks to ensure there are no defects that occur during manufacturing.
If a defective toy injures your child, you may have a claim against the manufacturer or retailer selling the product.
To explore this option, speak with an injury attorney in Louisville like Seth Gladstein.
Contact the Gladstein Law Firm, PLLC now or request more information online.