250,000 Toy Injuries Requiring ER Visits: How You Can Avoid It
It’s the holiday season and time for TOYS! However, before you make your toy purchases this year, consider some safe toy buying tips from some industry experts to make sure that your child can simply have fun with those toys, that you don’t have to worry about safety issues and most importantly – how you can avoid a trip to the emergency room.
Tips From the BBB & the CPSC
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) and the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) are two of the toy industry leaders when it comes to identifying dangerous toys and providing parents – and anyone else who purchases toys this season – with safety tips to avoid the 250,000 reported incidents of toy-related injuries requiring a trip to the emergency room in 2012.
Here are some of the tips each has given this year:
According to the BBB, parents should always select toys that are appropriate for the age of the child and make sure that the toy meets safety standards by following these tips:
- Look for sharp edges. Check the toy to see if there are there any sharp edges that can scratch or if there are any moving parts that can pinch small fingers.
- Watch for choking hazards. Small removable parts that may pose a choking hazard such as the nose, eyes, and mouth on stuffed animals. Make sure that these are firmly attached.
- Avoid long strings / cords. Toys that have long strings and cords are dangerous to infants and young children and can cause strangulation if the cord becomes wrapped around the child’s neck. Always avoid hanging toys with long strings, cords, loops or ribbons in cribs or playpens.
The BBB also reminds toy buyers to read labels carefully, make sure fabric products are flame resistant, look for the Underwriters Laboratory (UL) listing when choosing electronic toys and make sure flying objects have protective tips on them.
The CPSC monitors dangerous toys and keeps a list of recalled toys on its website. Check it out to find out more about what the Commission regards as especially dangerous, including:
- Choking hazards. Aside from choking hazards from small pieces, check toys and other children’s products for plastic film coverings and remove them, as the film can be a choking hazard.
- Strangulation. Strings and straps on toys can result in strangulation and should never be given to small children.
- Ingesting magnets. Small magnets like those found in magnetic building sets and other toys can kill a child if two or more are swallowed and can cause serious intestinal injuries in other situations.
- Suffocation. Keep uninflated toy balloons and pieces of broken balloons away from young children, as they can be a suffocation danger to kids.
- Burns. Don’t let children put caps for toy guns in their pockets, as they can ignite and cause burns.
The CPSC also warns buyers to be selective when purchasing electric toys, following age recommendations on packages, making sure the child is mature enough to operate the toy and supervising the toy’s use.
What to Do If Your Child Has Been Injured
If your child has been injured due to a defective or dangerous toy, contact an experienced personal injury attorney to discuss your situation and determine whether you might be entitled to compensation for medical bills, emotional and physical pain and suffering, lost income and more. Remember, toy manufacturers, distributors and sellers can be held liable when products are defectively designed, manufactured or when they fail to warn consumers about known dangers.