The holidays are rapidly approaching, and, before long, shoppers will be out looking for the latest and greatest toys to get their kids for Christmas. Toys are a big part of the holiday fun, and they can also provide the means for kids to learn new things and become better problem solvers. There are some toys, however, that are dangerous or defective and should never have been put on the market in the first place. Use of these products can result in serious injuries and, in the most extreme cases, fatalities.
Toy Injury Statistics
Toy-related injuries have been on the rise in the last decade or so. According to the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC), the estimated number of toy injuries (among children ages 15 and under) that have required emergency room treatment has been over 200,000 each year since 2005. In recent years, this number has topped 250,000 several times. It is scary to think that products that are supposed to entertain and educate our children could be causing so many injuries and deaths.
Around 60% of toy injuries happen to boys, while the other 40% happen to girls. The most common body regions affected are:
- Head/Face: 45%
- Arm: 23%
- Leg: 17%
- Other: 15%
The most common types of toy injuries are:
- Lacerations: 23%
- Contusions and Abrasions: 16%
- Fractures: 11%
- Strains and Sprains: 11%
- Other: 39%
Most Dangerous Toys for 2018
Earlier this year, World Against Toys Causing Harm (WATCH) put out its list of the most dangerous toys to be careful of this year. Toys on the list included:
- Water Balloon Slingshots: These are slingshots that shoot a water balloon with force, with the potential to hit kids in the face and eyes. Water balloon slingshots can travel up to 150 feet, and one of the major manufacturers boasts that you can fill “hundreds of balloons in minutes”. Tiny pieces of broken balloons also present a choking hazard for younger kids and pets.
- Low-Riding Wheeled Toys: Wheeled toys with a lower center of gravity tend to fall over more easily, which is especially dangerous around swimming pools, where children have been known to fall off them and drown. Their low profile also makes it difficult for other vehicles to see them when they are riding around in the driveway or (God forbid!) on the street.
- Toys with Small Parts: Toys with small parts that can be detached are always a hazard for younger children. Kids can choke on the smaller parts or use them to injure themselves or others.
- High-Powered Toy Guns: Water guns, bows and arrows, and any other type of toy that takes aim at another kid can pose a danger of an eye or head injury.
- Toys with Blunt Edges and Projectiles: Toys that have blunt or sharp edges have the potential to cause serious eye injuries or injuries on impact.
Keeping your Children Safe During the Holidays
When shopping for toys for your kids, you need to do everything possible to keep your children from being exposed to danger. With that in mind, here are a few holiday toy shopping tips:
- Research the Product Before you Buy: You cannot always tell just by looking at a product whether it is safe or not. Many times, you need to dig a little deeper. Read all the tags and warning labels to be sure. Then go a step further and read through reviews from others who have purchased the product. Not all reviews are legitimate, but if a product has enough independently verified reviews, you may be able to see a recurring safety issue that reviewers keep bringing up.
- Avoid Toxic Toys: Children, particularly those that are younger, are highly vulnerable to putting toxic substances in their mouth, which could cause them to be poisoned. Read the available information carefully and be sure that whatever you purchase for them is labeled “non-toxic”.
- Think Big: Make sure that the toy is large enough so that none of its parts can fit into the child’s mouth. This again is especially critical for younger kids who are susceptible to choking on small toy parts.
What to Do if Your Child is Injured by a Dangerous or Defective Toy
Some parents do all they can to purchase safe toys, but still end up with a product that injures their child. When this happens, the company that designs, manufacturers, or distributes that toy should be held responsible. At M. Adam Jones and Associates, our skilled product liability lawyers have several years of experience representing clients who have been injured by dangerous or defective products in Alabama. We have an in-depth understanding of the complexities involved with these types of cases, and we have a strong track record of success going up against even the most well-funded adversaries.
For a free consultation with one of our attorneys, call our office today at 334-699-5599 or send us a secure and confidential message through our online contact form.