Dangerous Toy Injuries
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) found that in 2017 there were an estimated 251,700 toy-related injuries treated in hospital emergency departments.
Of these, 73% happened to children younger than 15 years of age. Thirty-eight percent were lacerations, contusions, and abrasions. And forty-four percent were to the head and face, the most commonly affected area of the body.
Not all of these injuries were caused by defects in the toys, but companies that design, make, and sell these products do have certain responsibilities to consumers. Let’s look at three areas of obligation in design, manufacture, and warning.
Specifically, toy manufacturers:
- Must design a reasonably safe product.
- Must manufacture the product according to the approved design.
- Must warn you of any risks that are known or that should be known to them.
If your child is hurt as a result of a deficiency in any of these three responsibilities, you have legitimate legal recourse.
What Toys Cause the Most Injuries?
According to the CPSC, riding toys were the ones most associated with emergency department-treated injuries. These included non-motorized scooters and toy vehicles. Then came toy balls and building sets. So what specific toys should you watch out for when it comes to safe play for your children?
The 10 Worst Toys for 2018
World Against Toys Causing Harm, Inc. (W.A.T.C.H.) is a non-profit in Boston with a website that we highly recommend. Parents can see the latest “10 Worst Toys” list along with a wealth of information including safety alerts, hazardous products, and general toy safety.
Here is the W.A.T.C.H. list of the 10 worst toys for 2018:
1. Nickelodeon Nella Princess Knight Pillow Pets Sleeptime Lites
Adorned with small, felt-like flower and heart-tag accessories that present a potential ingestion hazard. Also, manufacturer identified a battery acid leakage hazard.
2. Nerf Vortex VTX Praxis Blaster
Eye and facial injuries after firing “10 discs in a row with pump-action blasting!”
3. Marvel Black Panther Slash Claw
Eye and facial injuries because they’re sold to five-year-olds to “slash” like the Black Panther.
4. Power Rangers Super Ninja Steel Superstar Blade
Blunt force and eye injuries as kids “power up” with the spring-loaded plastic blade.
5. Cabbage Patch Kids Dance Time Doll
The headband is removable so that it can be ingested by its recommended age group, 2+.
6. Zoo Jamz Xylophone
Sold to babies as young as 1 ½ years old and contains a 9-inch-long drumstick handle that can be put in the mouth and block the child’s airway.
7. NICI Wonderland Doll: Miniclara the Ballerina
Sold to children as young as 2 years old with her friend, “little kitten,” which poses a choking hazard.
8. Stomp Rocket Ultra Rocket
The rocket can launch up to 200 feet with potential for eye, face, and other impact injuries.
9. Cutting Fruit
Magnetic fruit sold with a slicing knife made of hard plastic with potential for puncture and blunt force injuries.
10. Chien A Promener Pull Along Dog
Pull-string of approximately 19 inches can cause entanglement and strangulation injuries.
It is counter intuitive for most people to accept that even cute, cuddly toys can be a danger to kids. As you see above, the danger is often from parts that detach from the toy. Or from the accessories that come with it. Small children can easily choke on these. Then there are blunt instruments and cords that are too long to be safe.
What You Can Do To Avoid Dangerous Toys
Your first line of defense is not to assume that because a toy is from a brand name manufacturer that it is automatically safe. According to W.A.T.C.H., even toys in compliance with industry or regulatory standards have caused injuries.
So when shopping for children under 8 years old, be careful of toys with batteries. Also, fur or hair on dolls and stuffed animals is dangerous for oral age children because they can be ingested and block breathing.
Toys with strings, attachments, or small parts can also be ingested by young kids. Also be careful of projectile toys or toys with blunt or sharp edges including toy weapons and games.
Here again we recommend you check the W.A.T.C.H. site for more on what to be careful of when buying toys for the kids. Here is a list of common hazards that continue to plague toys purchased in today’s marketplace:
- Puncture Wounds
- Eye Injury
- Flammable Materials
- Falling and Tripping
- Blunt Injury
- Electrical Hazards
Call Case Barnett Law If Your Child is Seriously Injured Playing With a Toy
The toy industry generated over $20 billion in sales in the United States in 2016 according to the Toy Association. Worldwide the figure for the same year was $87 billion. It is the responsibility of the toy designers, manufacturers, and marketers to make sure their products are safe for your children.
Case Barnett specializes in Child Injury Law and Product Liability. So if your child is seriously hurt playing with a toy, we can help. Parents don’t often realize that expenses such as medical bills and physical therapy may be ongoing. We can help you get the compensation your child deserves if he or she is injured from a dangerous toy or any other product.
Also, the toy industry should be held to a higher standard, so if your lawsuit helps them manufacture and market safer toys, you will have done children across the country a service.
If you have questions or your child has been seriously hurt while playing with a toy, give us a call at 949.861.2990 or request a free, no obligation consultation here.