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Toy Safety Awareness: Considerations for Holiday Gift-Giving

Dec 12th, 2023

Toy Safety Awareness

As the holiday season approaches, many of us are on the hunt for the perfect gifts for our loved ones, especially our children. While toys bring joy and excitement, they have also been known to cause injury from faulty manufacturing or improper use. In 2021 alone, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CSPC) reports that toy-related injuries resulted in more than 206,000 trips to the emergency room. December is aptly named Safe Toys and Gifts Month, making it a perfect time to remember the importance of safety considerations when buying gifts for our little (and not-so-little) ones.

 

Choose Age-Appropriate Toys

Age-appropriateness is one of the most important aspects of safe giving. These are not just about the complexity or skill level required for the toy. They also consider small parts that may pose a choking hazard for children under age three. In recent years, toys with small magnets and circular batteries have emerged as a significant risk. If a child ingests these objects, they can attract each other within the body, causing severe internal damage and even death. Always check the age recommendation on the packaging. When in doubt, consider this rule of thumb: if a part fits inside a toilet paper roll, it’s too small to give to a toddler under age three.

For older children interested in riding toys, ensure they come with the appropriate safety gear. For example, a bicycle should always be accompanied by a helmet that fits correctly and meets U.S. CPSC federal safety standards. Improperly made helmets won’t offer adequate protection against head injuries, and helmets that don’t fit properly can cause the head to jostle inside on impact, increasing the chance of head injury.

 

Check for Quality and Safety Standards

Before purchasing a toy, examine it thoroughly. Look for the letters “ASTM”. This means the product meets the safety standards set by ASTM International and has been verified safe for the appropriate age group. Also, ensure the toy is sturdy and will not easily break into small, sharp pieces.

 

Be Aware of Recalls for Toy Safety Awareness

The CSPC maintains a searchable database for products under recall. Checking this database before buying a toy (especially one for infants) can prevent injury and possibly even save the child’s life.

 

Be Cautious With Electric Toys

Electric toys can be a fun educational tool for children, but they also carry potential risks. Ensure any electric toys are UL-approved, and avoid those with heating elements for children under eight years old.

 

Monitor Play Time

Regardless of how safe a toy seems, nothing replaces adult supervision. Always monitor your children while they play to ensure they use toys correctly and safely.

 

Legal Responsibilities of Toy Manufacturers

Manufacturers, sellers, and importers are legally obligated to ensure their products adhere to safety standards. This includes ensuring toys for younger children do not contain small parts that could cause choking. They must also provide clear age guidelines on their packaging and any necessary safety warnings. Failure to comply with these regulations can result in product recalls and legal action.

 

Despite taking all precautions, sometimes a toy may still cause injury, not because of misuse or age-appropriateness, but because it is not safely made or designed. If you or someone you love is injured by manufacturer or retailer neglect, you may be entitled to compensation. If so, our personal injury attorneys can help. Call us for a free consultation.