During the holiday season and all other times of year, it is important for parents, schools, and day care centers to be aware of the dangers that some toys cause to children. If a child is injured by the use, play, or contact with a toy, the owner of the home, day care center, or school may be held liable if there was an issue with the supervision of the child, if the toy at issue was known to be dangerous, or if the toy was inappropriate for the age and maturity of the child.
Federal safety standards are put in place in an effort to reduce the risk of injuries to children from toys. Even with these standards in place, it is estimated that every three minutes a child is injured by a toy and makes a trip to the emergency room. This equates to approximately 250,000 children going to the emergency room in 2013 alone. In addition, the U.S. Consumer Protection Safety Commission estimated roughly nine children died in 2013 from toy related injuries.
With internet shopping becoming more prevalent, more and more parents are purchasing toys online. A problem with online shopping is that parents are unable to physically view the toys for safety issues and are often unable to read all of the warnings printed on the package. Without the ability to physically see the toy to locate unknown dangers or to read all warnings, parents may be purchasing toys that are not fit for the age and maturity of their child. A lack of knowledge regarding the safety of a toy can lead to serious injuries to children.
In an effort to combat the lack of information, there are publications, websites, and consumer watchdog groups that publish the dangers with certain toys. Some even post a top ten list with the worst toys of the year from a safety standpoint. The list provides parents with the toys that may have hidden or unknown dangers.
The maxim of knowledge is power holds true when it comes to the safety of children and deciding what toys to purchase. Parents should try to research the toys on their children’s holiday list for all warnings. It may also be helpful to physically view a toy in the store before purchasing it online. This will help the parent inspect the packaging for all warnings and determine if there are possible dangers that are not labeled based on their individual child’s age and maturity.
A good resource for a parent dealing with the aftermath of an injury caused by a toy with insufficient warnings is the book – The ABCs of Child Injury – Legal Rights of the Injured Child – What Every Parent Should Know. This book has chapters on Day Care Center Injuries, School Injuries, Playground Injuries, Water Park and Aquatic Injuries, and other topics. You can get this book for free at The ABCs of Child Injury.