Beware of toy hazards this holiday season – 8 tips for buying safer toys
The children on your holiday gift list can be injured by everything from batteries and magnets to ride on toys, small toy parts, pull cords and even deflated balloons. The Consumer Product Safety Commission reported that in 2014 there were 251,800 toy-related injuries treated in emergency departments. Seventy-three percent of those injuries were sustained by children under the age of 15.
Non-motorized scooters and non-motorized riding toys were responsible for 6 fatalities last year. Four boys, ages 4 to 9 years, were struck and killed by motor vehicles while riding scooters and a two and three-year old boy were both hit by vehicles while riding in wagons on two different occasions. Non-motorized scooters also caused 56,000 injuries.
For children 12 years of age or younger, riding toys were associated with a larger number of estimated injuries than any other toy. Other toys most frequently associated with injuries include toy vehicle, toy balls and dolls, plush toys and action figures. Of the toy-related injuries treated last year, 45% were injuries to the face and head area.
There are many toy hazards beyond motorized and non-motorized riding toys. Small balls and toys containing small parts can be a choking hazard for young children. Children have a habit of putting things in their mouths, and can easily swallow dangerous toy-related items, such as button batteries, magnets or toxic materials. A button battery can cause severe chemical burns in just a short period of time. These batteries are found in an array of household and holiday products, from toys to musical greeting cards, wireless game controls watches and keyless entry remotes among many others. Magnets can also be easily swallowed, especially the small pieces that come with some magnet sets and other toys. Deflated balloons also pose a choking risk to children who may put them in their mouth.
Toy cords and balloon strings are dangerous as well, as those longer strings can get wrapped around a child’s neck and cause strangulation. This can include toddler toys that can pull with a string or cord and also infant toys that hang. Watch out for lead paint as well. When purchasing painted toys, be sure the paint is lead free. Toy guns and other toy weapons can also pose an injury risk and should be carefully researched.
8 Tips for Buying Safer Toys
- Buy well made, quality toys from reputable manufacturers
- Read the label for any warnings and instructions
- Buy age-appropriate toys
- Avoid toys that shoot objects
- Avoid toys with toxic materials
- Don’t give toys with small parts or easily breakable parts to young children
- Don’t give toys with long strings or cords to young children. Never hang toys with strings, cords or ribbons on cribs or playpens.
- If you are purchasing a bike, scooter, skateboard or skates for a child this holiday season, be sure to run the purchase past parents first, as children are easily hurt when falling from these wheeled gifts. Be sure to get the correct size for the child’s age and provide safety gear, such as helmets, elbow, shin and kneepads, and wrist guards as well.
Check for the most up to date toy recalls on the Consumer Product Safety Commission website at http://www.cpsc.gov/en/Recalls/.
The personal injury lawyers at Fellerman & Ciarimboli in Philadelphia and Wilkes-Barre encourage you to shop smart and safe this holiday season when purchasing gifts for children. If a faulty or unsafe product has injured you or your child, call the injury lawyers at Fellerman & Ciarimboli today. Contact a Philadelphia lawyer at 215-575-9237 or talk to a Wilkes-Barre lawyer by calling 570-714-HURT.
With more than 40 years of combined experience, the personal injury attorneys at Fellerman & Ciarimboli strive to provide the best service to clients in Philadelphia, Northeast Pennsylvania, and throughout the Keystone State.