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Avoid Dangerous Toys This Holiday Season

Buying toys and gifts for loved ones this season?  Here are some tips to keep in mind, especially if shopping for young children.

Many popular toys come with severe injury risks, specifically the risk of eye injuries.  Injuries involving toys are far too common to ignore. The Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that in 2014, there were approximately 251,800 injuries related to the use of toys reported to emergency rooms across the United States. That works out to approximately 500 child injuries every single day. Nearly 50% of these injuries involved children below the age of four.  And a significant 44% of those injuries involved injuries to the face and head areas.

The eyes are especially vulnerable to impact from projectiles, or sharp edges on children’s toys. These injuries can be severe, and even have permanent effects on the victim.  One study published recently in the JAMA Ophthalmology journal found that air guns, basketballs and baseballs cause approximately 50% of all sports-related eye injuries.

Here’s how you can avoid making a dangerous gift gaffe this season.

Be a smart shopper, and only buy toys that are either safe for children to use, or come with specific safety instructions and safety gear that can help minimize the risk of injuries.

Avoid toys that include projectiles, parts that fly off, or shoot.

Avoid toys that have sharp- edged points or spikes.

For small children, avoid toys that can easily be broken or dismantled.  Children can place smaller pieces in their mouths, and that can pose a serious choking hazard.

Avoid buying toys with small parts for younger children.

Avoid buying toys with long strings or cords as they can get wrapped around a child’s neck.

Make sure to read safety advisories, warnings and instructions on the packaging of every toy you buy.

Keep the child’s age in mind when you purchase a toy for him or her, and never buy toys that are meant for an older age group than the child.

Don’t forget to buy a helmet if you are buying a riding toy like a scooter, or bike. This encourages children to remain safe, even as they’re enjoying your gift.

Oftentimes, toys come with dangers that parents and consumers are not aware of.   Pay special attention to toys that are given as gifts to your children by people who do not have children as they sometimes don’t recognize the importance of age appropriate gifts.  When an injury has occurred as a result of the use of a toy, the manufacturer, distributor and other parties may be held liable for these injuries in a product liability claim.

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