The holiday season is approaching and new toy advertisements are appearing by the dozens on television, computers, tablets, and smart phones, in the newspaper, and in the catalogs mailed to your home. Children can’t wait to get the “hottest” toys for the holiday season, and adults are more than happy to oblige, even if it’s only to see the expression on the child’s face when they open the gift.
But when you select a toy for your child, are you taking time to determine 1) if these toys are safe, and 2) if they are age-appropriate?
In many cases, the answer to these questions is no. We assume that if it’s being sold in our local Toys”R”Us or online through Amazon or other e-retailers, it’s safe and appropriate for our child. But that’s not always the case. Did you know that more than 250,000 children were rushed to the emergency room for injuries related to toys in 2014? Injuries sustained were caused by toys ranging from non-motorized scooters to marbles to balls.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) works to ensure toys are safe, but parents and guardians need to read labels, follow toy recalls, and be aware of general safety hazards with certain types of toys. Follow the tips below to reduce the risk of your child suffering an injury.
General Toy Safety Tips
- Read toy labels and only purchase toys that are appropriate for age and developmental level. Toys that are designed for older children can pose safety hazards to younger ones.
- For children age seven and under, stay away from toys that have sharp edges and protruding parts.
- Dispose of any plastic wrapping immediately after opening to avoid suffocation hazards.
- Make sure your child wears appropriate protective eyewear when playing sports.
- Avoid purchasing toys that use heating elements for children under eight years old.
- If you are purchasing art supplies, make sure to select non-toxic products.
- Stay updated with toy recalls. Visit https://www.cpsc.gov/ and sign up to receive recalls.
- Be very cautious with toy jewelry and other painted toys that children may put in their mouths. These toys may contain lead which is a health hazard. Antique toys and imported toys are more likely to have lead. To reduce your child’s risk, review the toy in detail and check the CPSC lead website for more information.
Toddler Toy Safety Tips
- For toddlers who love to put things in their mouth, avoid exposing them to toys with detachable parts or pieces small enough to swallow. Choking on small toy pieces is a serious hazard. Take care to ensure older siblings play with their toys in areas separate from toddlers.
- Make sure that the toy is well-constructed. Don’t risk purchasing a toy with small eyes that may fall off and end up in your child’s mouth.
- Avoid balloons for toddlers because balloons can burst in their faces.
- Keep small balls and toys away that could even remotely fit in toddlers’ mouths. You can measure by testing whether the object fits inside of an empty paper towel roll. If it does, keep it away.
- Prevent strangulation by making sure that any baby mobile, toy, doll, or doll clothing has strings or ribbons shorter than five inches.
- If you see a rash around your child’s mouth, eyes, or hands after playing with a toy, confiscate the toy and contact your doctor immediately. These symptoms may be due to a latex reaction.
As a well-informed toy shopper this holiday season, you can enjoy watching your child’s delight when he or she opens the special gift and you can feel confident that he or she will be safe playing with it.
Since 1990, Goldman & Daszkal, P.A. has provided reputable legal representation to people throughout Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade Counties. The firm has helped thousands of individuals recover compensation from motor vehicle and boating accidents, slip and fall accidents, product defect and liability cases, pharmacy errors, and negligent security cases to cover medical expenses, pay bills, take care of their families, and return to work. Goldman & Daszkal, P.A. can help you get the relief you need to start living your life again after a serious injury. For a free and confidential consultation, contact Goldman & Daszkal, P.A., at (954) 428-9333.