At this time of year, many Hollywood and Florida residents are checking off the final items on their holiday lists. If you have any children on your list, however, it’s important to keep in mind that unsafe toys can and do cause serious injury each year. Just because something is available online or in stores, it does not ensure it is safe.
World Against Toys Causing Harm, Inc. (W.A.T.C.H.) has released a list of top unsafe toys in 2021 and this is a good list to start with to ensure you are not purchasing unsafe products. There are also other ways to help avoid childhood injury in Hollywood related to unsafe toys:
- Buy new when you can: Older toys may have been recalled or may not meet current safety guidelines. Vintage or antique toys, for example, may contain unsafe materials or may have smaller parts that today we know pose a risk. Used toys may also be damaged in ways which make them unsafe.
- Check for sharp edges and pointed elements: These can pose a risk of lacerations and eye injuries. They can also bruise and cause other injuries to children.
- Consider where you shop: Shop from trusted, respected retailers who specialize in toys and children’s products. Be especially cautious when shopping online at stores which do not have detailed safety information for each toy.
- Buy age-appropriate toys: A toy that is safe for a seven-year-old can be dangerous for a child of four.
- Look out for toys with batteries and fur when buying for young children: Batteries can leak or overheat, which is dangerous. Small children can also pry open the battery compartment and place batteries in their mouths, which is a choking hazard. Fur and hair on toys are also a choking hazard for very young children.
- Check for any small pieces which can easily be removed: Small pieces can be swallowed and pose a choking hazard. A child can also inhale them through their nose, which can cause serious nasal injuries.
- Avoid projectile toys: Any toy with arrows or darts can cause lacerations, eye injuries, bruising, and serious injuries. Toys which “catapult” or fire small projectiles can pose all these risks plus a choking hazard.
- Check for any strings: Strings longer than five inches or so can pose a strangulation hazard. Any cords or strings on child’s toys should be short enough that they can’t wrap around a child’s neck or limb.
If your child is injured by an unsafe toy, you may have a claim against the manufacturer or retailer if the toy was designed unsafely, did not contain adequate precautions and instructions, or otherwise was unsafe due to negligence. It can be difficult to determine whether a toy injury was caused by negligence, which is why you may wish to contact Flaxman Law Group to discuss your situation with an experienced Hollywood toy injury claims attorney. If your child has been injured and you would like to know whether you have a claim, you can reach us at 1-866-352-9626 (1-866-FLAXMAN) for a free consultation.