What are the Dangers of Defective Toys?

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Companies that manufacture toys must take steps to ensure that their products are safe for children, especially since youngsters do not behave in the same way as an adult. For example, an adult should know not to swallow magnets that may fall out of a toy. However, a child, especially a very young child, may not know that this could be dangerous. Toy companies should therefore work to eliminate not only obvious hazards but also less obvious risks. Still, despite industry regulations and product recalls, many dangerous and defective toys are sold every year. Parents can take certain precautions to avoid child injuries from toys, but it is not always possible to prevent product defects from causing harm. If your child suffers an injury from a toy, you may be able to collect compensation through a product liability claim.

The injuries caused by defective toys can be devastating, and may affect the rest of the child’s life. Medical bills, future treatments and child care can leave a family struggling. However, the child injury lawyers at Eisenberg, Rothweiler, Winkler, Eisenberg & Jeck, P.C., can assist you in recovering compensation for these costs. In the most tragic cases, where a dangerous toy causes a child’s wrongful death, we can help you get justice from the toy company and any other liable parties.

What Child Injuries May Result from Defective Toys?

Product defects vary greatly, and may be unique to each specific toy. However, some of the most common risks associated with defective toys include:

  • Choking hazards. Toys that have small parts or components must come with warning labels so that parents know what age a child must be to safely use the toy. Still, companies may overlook this labeling or may fail to perform adequate testing to identify the choking hazard.
  • Strangulation or suffocation risk. Loose cloth, lines or ropes on a toy can cause strangulation, especially since young children may not be strong enough to free themselves once entangled. Additionally, any toy or object that is convex, such as a cup, may pose a suffocation risk.
  • Burns. In the past, many companies have issued product recalls for children’s items, such as pajamas and electrical toys, that increase the risk of serious burn injuries. Certain items may be dangerously flammable. Others, like electric devices, may overheat and cause a fire. Chemical burns are also possible due to manufacturing defects, such as use of toxic materials.
  • Risk of internal injuries. Certain objects, if swallowed, may cause intestinal blockage or other organ damage. For example, small batteries may not be a choking hazard, but they can burn a child’s esophagus, stomach and intestines. Magnets are a particular hazard like this, and may cause organ perforation if ingested.
  • Lead poisoning. Even today, many toys are subject to recalls because they contain paint with a high concentration of lead. This is especially dangerous for small children who may put their mouths on any toy.

Toy companies should conduct safety tests to identify potential hazards like these. However, even if the toy has a warning label, you may still be able to file a product liability lawsuit if your child is seriously harmed.

What Can I Do to Prevent Child Injuries from Dangerous Toys?

It is not always possible to avoid a child injury due to a defective toy. To help prevent serious accidents, parents should follow these safety tips:

  • If buying a bicycle, skateboard or scooter, be sure to buy protective gear as well. This may include a helmet, wrist guards, knee pads and elbow pads.
  • Do not give toys with small parts to children under three years of age.
  • Keep small and broken balloons out of reach. Children under eight years old should not be given latex balloons as it can become lodged in the child’s throat.
  • For children under six, be sure that any ball is larger than 1.75 inches in diameter.
  • Remove any mobile or toys hanging over an infant’s crib once they can lift themselves up and stand.
  • Remove the knob or bead at the end of cords longer than one foot to prevent possible strangulation.
  • Be sure to read the labels and ingredients of toys and cosmetics to prevent exposure to toxic chemicals. Avoid any toys made from PVC plastic and cosmetics made with xylene, toluene or dibutyl phthalate.
  • Use a home lead test kit to test toys and jewelry.
  • Be sure that children do not insert jewelry or metal into their mouths.
  • Keep toys and games containing small magnets away from children under six.
  • If you suspect your child swallowed magnets, consult a physician immediately, as this is a serious health concern.
  • If a toy is too loud, remove the batteries or cover the speakers to prevent injury to the ears of a child.
  • Be aware of current product recalls. Keep up to date with recall information at www.recalls.gov.
  • Be aware of warning labels. Federal regulations require specific labels on all potentially dangerous toys.

Defective Toys Hurt Your Child? Philadelphia Product Liability Lawyers Offer Free Reviews

If your child is ever injured by a dangerous toy, be sure to seek medical attention immediately. Then, contact the child injury lawyers at Eisenberg, Rothweiler, Winkler, Eisenberg & Jeck, P.C. Our Philadelphia attorneys have a wealth of experience protecting children who have been injured due to dangerous toys. We can evaluate your case free of charge to determine the best way to protect your legal rights.

We have law offices in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Cherry Hill, New Jersey, but we accept cases nationwide. Call one of our offices or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation today.