Playtime should be a time of learning, fun, and joy for children – but that time can become dangerous and even deadly if children are exposed to toys that are poorly manufactured. Since 2008, parents across America have become well aware of the dangers of seemingly innocent toys as the news of child injuries caused by toys has become more prevalent. The resulting injuries and deaths from poorly designed products that do not meet safety regulations are responsible for numerous massive recalls and an increased need to educate people on toy safety.
The United States Public Interest Research Groups, or US PIRG, published the results of a study they conducted entitled, “Trouble in Toyland.” The summary showcases the ever-growing number of toy recalls, as well as the major reasons for the documented recalls. The PIRG noted that choking hazards are the most common reason for toy recalls in the United States. Other reasons for an issued recall include: lead paint, excessive noise (causing ear damage), and phthalates (an ingredient in some plastics that causes health problems).
In response to the growing number of concerns regarding toy safety, the Consumer Product Safety Commission was expanded and given more funding to test toys. The CPSC, however, is still a relatively small organization and its capabilities are limited. This is why it is so important for parents to educate themselves on the hazards of certain toys.
Parents of children under three should be on guard against toys small enough to cause choking. An easy way to test if a toy is suitable for a child is by using a paper towel roll. If the toy is small enough to fit through, then it is too small for your toddler. Anything that can fit through a paper towel can easily become lodged in a child’s throat. Also, be wary of toys with magnets, because if the magnets are swallowed, they can cause internal damage in a child’s intestinal track when the magnets attempt to join together.
Other dangers may be more difficult to guard against, like the presence of lead or phthalates, or even the noise decibels on a toy. That’s why it is important to stay informed about child toy recalls. If your child is harmed by a defective toy, it may be time to contact an Oregon products liability lawyer to hold toy manufactures accountable for distributing dangerous products, and to ensure that no other children are harmed.