If you are shopping for friends and family and checking off your holiday shopping list, you will of course want to make sure that every present you give brings joy. The last thing you want is for a purchase to cause harm or injury. Unfortunately, each year products liability cases in Hollywood and Florida are launched due to defective products. You don’t want to give a gift that could harm someone, but unfortunately some products sold in stores are designed or manufactured negligently and may cause harm. To prevent giving these items as gifts, you will want to ask yourself a few questions:
1) Is this item on a recall list?
Keep your receipts after shopping and be sure to check out official lists of recalls so that you will be warned if an item is recalled. Due to the risk of injury and recalls, avoid buying used toys, sports equipment, and child’s items (such as car seats), as used items may be damaged or may have been subject to recalls.
2) Does this item contain any parts that could be bitten off and swallowed?
If you are giving a gift to a child, make sure that there are no removable parts or small parts on a string that can be swallowed. Be especially vigilant about toys that contain small magnets. These can be removed and in recent years have been linked to choking hazards.
3) Is the item non-toxic?
If you are buying a child’s or baby’s toy or item, make sure that the gift has a ACMI (Art and Creative Material Institute, Inc.) seal or other seal indicating that it is made with non-toxic materials. Lead in paint and other toxic substances in toys and art supplies can cause poisoning, burn injuries, and other injuries. If you are not sure what materials were used in a toy, you can check the HealthyStuff website for more information.
4) Does the item have sharp edges?
Even if you are buying an item for an adult, sharp edges can cause injury and cuts. Avoid any items or gifts that have unprotected edges which seem sharp enough to cut skin. Any item that seems easy to break or is less than sturdy can also pose a hazard.
5) Is the item a child’s toy that has a cord, string, or ribbons that are longer than 6 inches?
Long ribbons, strings, cords, and straps can pose a strangulation hazard for young children. Keep in mind, too, that even if you are buying a gift for an adult, the ribbons or strings could pose a strangulation hazard if the item is used in a household that has small children.
6) Does the item have an expiry date?
If you are buying a food basket, makeup, or other items that could be perishable, check for manufacturing or best-before dates. If you are not sure whether the item is still safe to use, contact the manufacturer listed on the label.
If you have received a product that has caused you or someone in your family a serious injury, you can contact Flaxman Law Group at any time to arrange a free case consultation. A member of our legal team would be pleased to help you understand whether you have options for seeking compensation.