December 28, 2012 /24-7PressRelease/ -- With the holiday season here, many children in Texas will be looking forward to playing with their new toys. Parents should take warning, though -- not all toys are as safe as they might seem. In 2012 alone, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission recalled 38 toys over fears that they posed safety hazards to children.
There are a few important actions parents can take to help keep their children safe from dangerous and defective products. The first is to make sure they thoroughly read the warning labels on any new toys. Many toys are perfectly safe for their intended uses, but might be dangerous if used in a different way. Kids, especially young ones, may not understand this, so it is important for parents to make sure that toys are being used correctly.
Parents should also make sure that toys are age-appropriate for the children who are using them. This is especially true for children under age 6, since small children have a natural tendency to put things in their mouths. They could end up choking on small pieces or being hurt by sharp edges.
Finally, parents should make sure that children are using toys in the correct environments. For example, flying toys should never be used outdoors near power lines, and electronic toys should never be used in or near a bathtub or open water.
U.S. toy safety report reveals hidden dangers
Sadly, even the most vigilant parent cannot always prevent an accident or injury caused by an unreasonably dangerous toy. Every year, too many toys are put on the market despite the fact that they are unsafe for use under any circumstances.
The U.S. Public Interest Research Group recently released its 2012 Trouble in Toyland report, the most recent iteration of its annual survey on toy safety issues across the United States. The report revealed some troubling information.
The authors found several toys available for sale in stores that contained potentially dangerous levels of toxic substances. Among the biggest culprits were lead and phthalates. If ingested, lead can lead to organ damage, developmental delays and central nervous system problems. Phthalates can cause developmental problems and reproductive defects.
Other threats identified in the report included the following:
- Small parts that could come loose and pose choking hazards
- Noise levels that exceed recommendations from the National Institute of Deafness and Other Communication Disorders
- Powerful magnets that can cause severe internal damage if swallowed
Parents who are concerned about a toy they have purchased are encouraged to check the CPSC website to see if the product has been recalled.
If an injury does happen, parents have a right to hold the toy manufacturer accountable. Parents can pursue product liability lawsuits on behalf of their injured children to recover compensation for losses including medical bills and pain and suffering. If your child has been injured, talk to a personal injury attorney who can help you understand your options.