Parents should thoroughly inspect their children’s toys and check the recall database for any items their children received during the holiday season.The best way to protect children from dangerous products is to make sure that the toys they have received are not subject to recalls, remove any toys that parents suspect could cause harm, and report dangerous toys to manufacturers and the CPSC.
What Makes Toys Dangerous
Nationwide, it is estimated that a child is injured every three minutes by a hazardous toy. Poor toy design, the use of substandard materials, improper manufacturing techniques, and other hazards can cause serious injuries and wrongful deaths. In some cases, it is a combination of factors that come together to make a toy dangerous. Toys that have parts that fall off and create choking hazards, dangerous materials that cause toxic exposures, sharp corners that can cut deep into tissue, or projectiles that can damage vision are often culprits that lead to permanent injuries and fatalities.
One of the most common problems facing parents is that many toys aren’t made in the United States; they are imported from countries whose regulatory standards are not aligned with those of the U.S. However, that does not absolve the manufacturers, distributors, or retailers from product liability for their products when these toys injure, maim, or kill a child. Whether it is a foam dart, a baby doll, stacking foam cushions, or plastic costumes, any toy sold in the United States is required to adhere to rigid standards regarding everything from the paints and construction techniques used to proper labeling and advertising.
Dealing with Dangerous Toys
Parents can search the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission database for toy recalls that may affect their children. The database provides an up-to-date listing of recalls related to everything from bicycles and helmets to trampolines and sleepwear. The database shows how many units are affected, the reason(s) for the recall, contact information for the manufacturer, and instructions on how to proceed.
If a dangerous toy is identified, the first thing parents should do is to take the hazardous toys their children have received away. Parents should immediately report dangerous children’s products to the CPSC and the product manufacturer to protect other children from choking hazards, strangulation hazards, hearing loss, lacerations, and broken bones.