The holidays are the time of year for major gift giving, and many of us scramble to find the perfect gift or favorite toy to give the children in our lives. Part of the excitement is seeing little faces light up when they open their gifts and we strive to get them the latest toy or gadget that will elicit that response. At the same time, it is important to make safety a priority when buying children’s toys. Injuries caused by dangerous or unsafe toys occur with alarming frequency and tend to spike at this time of year. Before heading to the toy store, make sure you know about the safety standards in place for toys, and review our list of tips to ensure the toys you buy our safe.
Children’s Toy Safety Standards
The consumer watch group World Against Toys Causing Harm (WATCH) recently published a list of the ’10 Most Dangerous Toys of Christmas’, but this list has come under fire from the United States Toy Industry Association. The TIA states that the toys listed by WATCH have not been shown in testing to actually cause harm, and that the list itself consists of toys that WATCH simply suspects of being unsafe, a claim WATCH acknowledges. The toy industry points to stringent U.S. safety standards to which every toy sold in this country must adhere, as well as requirements that any potential dangers associated with a particular toy be posted on the toy packaging in the form of a warning label.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) requires any toy made or sold in this country to children under the age 12 to undergo rigorous testing. All toys must conform to federal toy safety standards before they can be in U.S. stores. Testing often involves determining the type and quality of material used, and if there are any protruding edges, parts or pieces of the toy that could come off and harm a child. The CPSC stops thousands of toys each year from entering the country from either Canada or Mexico for failing to conform with safety requirements.
Tips for Toy Safety
Despite rigorous testing and toy safety regulations, accident can still happen. The CPSC estimates that more than 180,000 children suffer toy-related injuries each year, many of which can be serious and require medical treatment. Follow the CPSC’s tips on toy safety to ensure you pick the right kinds of toys for the little ones on your holiday list:
- Read all packages carefully and pay close attention to any warning labels;
- Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure the toy you purchase is age appropriate;
- Avoid buying toys that are cheaply made, imported, or from bargain outlets. They may be less likely to adhere to U.S. safety standards;
- Be careful when buying toys with small pieces or magnets, as these can easily be choking hazards; and
- If you buy sports equipment, bikes or scooters for a child, make sure to get the appropriate safety gear to go along with your gift, such as helmets and safety pads.
Contact Our Office for Assistance
If you know a child who was injured as the result of a dangerous or defective toy, contact our experienced Florida personal injury attorneys today. At Hogan Frick, our attorneys understand how important your child’s health and welfare is, and can assist you in seeking damages for any injuries they have suffered. Reach out for a consultation on your case.