Where did this year go? The holidays are right around the corner and many people have already started crossing gifts off of their shopping lists. If you have young children in your life, you know that there’s nothing like seeing their faces light up when they get that special toy that they wished for.
But before you buy any toys or gifts this holiday season, it’s important to understand the potential dangers that lurk in even the most innocuous places. Every year, thousands of children are injured and some are even killed by products that are hazardous, unsafe, or defective.
As December is the biggest gift-giving month in the world, it is also recognized as Safe Toys and Gifts Month. Below, we discuss the prevalence of toy-related injuries and how you can keep safety in mind when you’re shopping for the little ones in your life this holiday season.
Hazardous or Defective Products Cause Injuries
According to a recent report by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), there were an estimated 251,700 toy-related injuries treated in U.S. emergency rooms in 2017. Of those, 70% occurred to children 12 years old or younger, while 37% occurred to children 5 years or younger. There were also 17 toy-related fatalities to children under 15 years old that year.
The most commonly injured areas of the body were the face and head area, which accounted for 46% of the estimated injuries. Another 39% of injuries were classified as lacerations, contusions, or abrasions. Non-motorized scooters were the most commonly cited cause of injuries.
Lastly, it’s important to note that toymakers recalled 28 different products last year, totaling over 3.6 million units of toys, for safety concerns ranging from:
- Small parts and choking hazards
- Leaking batteries
- Chemical exposure
- Burn hazards
- Fall and crash hazards
Safe Toys Checklist and Considerations
When it comes to safe holiday shopping, there are a few things you should keep in mind:
Before Purchasing a Toy
- Inspect the toy for broken parts
- Read all warnings and instructions on the box
- Review what ages the toy is meant for
- Avoid toys with small parts, spikes, sharp points, rods, or ropes
- Look for nontoxic messaging and ASTM labels, meaning the toy has been inspected and approved by the American Society for Testing and Materials
Before Letting Children Play With Toys
- Inspect the toy again
- Explain to the child how to use the toy
- Throw away any broken parts
- Discard wrapping and small plastic parts
- Keep toys meant for older children away from younger siblings
- Supervise children while playing with toys
- Store toys properly to avoid falling or tripping hazards
- Have children wear the right safety gear (helmets, knee/elbow pads, eye protection, etc.)
- Check for recent toy recalls
If your child is injured this holiday season due to a hazardous or defective toy, your family may have legal options moving forward. Contact Effres & Effres at (818) 222-9720 to get started with a no-fee, no-obligation consultation.