The Hazard of Dangerous or Defective Toys in the Season of Giving

Soon wrapping paper will litter the floor as children and adults alike begin to enjoy the new gifts they have received this holiday season. It is a great moment of happiness, and togetherness as individuals experience the joy of giving and receiving and it is a great memory that is best left unmarred by hazardous incidents that can easily be avoided.

Several weeks ago, our personal blog released a posting reminding consumers about potential hazards to look out for when purchasing presents. In the busyness of the holiday season, it is easy to overlook simple things such as warning labels in determining the appropriateness of gifts. However, if gifts are not age appropriate or potentially dangerous, they may result in safety risks to a most loved but vulnerable group, children. Thus, before the purchase is made, and even for purchases already made, be sure to use your judgment and check if the gift is really appropriate in order to prevent injuries. So here again are some tips to help you in this process.

• Read warning labels carefully • Consider the age, interest and skills of gift recipients • Avoid toys with sharp edges and points • Check to see if toys are potential choking hazards • Avoid gifts containing high powered magnets
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The US Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that an estimated 195,200 toy related injuries resulted in hospital visits in the year 2011 with 19 instances that led to death. Though The CPSC and Customs and Border Protection do a very good job of reviewing the toys that are put on shelves, unexpected issues may still arise. Examples of this are Buckyballs and Buckycubes, which are small high powered magnets. The toys, if swallowed, can cause major health issues. If multiple magnets are swallowed, attraction within an individual’s digestive system can cause holes in the stomach, intestinal blockage, blood poisoning, and unfortunately even death. Though the manufacturer and distributor of Buckyballs and Buckycubes have stated in October that they will no longer be selling these products once their stock has diminished, it is still very possible that purchases of these toys were made in recent months and some may still be on store shelves, leading unsuspecting customers to purchase them.

There are many other sources of danger other than magnets however. Sometimes, toys that seem simple and harmless can be defected in design or from the manufacturing process. In these instances, the fault lies with the production company and they should be held responsible as our society bears responsibility of protecting children. Defective products can be improperly designed or sometimes the marketing of products include inadequate warnings, instructions or even false advertisement about the safety of the product. Thus it is important to report claims about toy related injuries in order to inform not only the company of flaws in their product, but also to warn other consumers about the dangers of certain products.

Sources:
Public Health Watchdog Warns about Dangers of Magnetic Balls that Have Allegedly Caused Serious Injuries in Children
‘Tis the Season for Toy Safety
Magnet Toys: What To Do if Your Child Swallows a Magnet

In this holiday season, be sure to do research and use adequate judgment in making your purchases. We all know though, that not every danger can be expected or avoidable. If a serious injury does occur due to a dangerous or defective toy, our San Francisco product liability firm may be able to help you file a claim on your behalf against the manufacturer or production company. Please call our lawyer today if you believe you or a loved one has been affected by such a toy. We are committed to protecting and representing your consumer right to safe products.