With the holiday season fast approaching, parents, caregivers and guardians may be contemplating what gifts or toys to get children this year. This is the time of year we invite all sorts of new products into our lives, increasing our risk of defective product injuries in North Carolina as well as child injuries in Greensboro and elsewhere.
With 3 billion toys being sold annually, our Charlotte defective product attorneys want to remind parents and other consumers that there are loads of hazardous toys placed on store shelves and online toy sites. Try to research before you purchase in order to avoid a preventable injury to your child or loved one.
Safe Kids USA reports that emergency rooms are busy with children injured from defective toys in recent years — roughly 217,000 visits on average each year.
Children under the age of 14 average a total of 15 deaths from a toy-related accident annually. In 2005, there were 20 child deaths related to a defective toy and 75,000 toy-related injuries for children ages 13 and under.
The most common causes of toy-related deaths are from choking, riding accidents, strangulation and drowning. A high percentage of toy-related injuries are to the head or face but defective toys can also cause broken bones, lacerations and puncture wounds to other areas of the body like legs, arms, hands and chest.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission recently adopted a new testing system and certification rules for children’s products to help prevent defective products from reaching consumers. Domestic manufacturers, private labelers and distributors have a responsibility to catch defective products before they hit the market.
The following requirements are now in place:
-Compliance with product safety standards set forth by the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 with relation to testing and certifying of their children’s product.
-Periodic third party testing will now be conducted to ensure product reliability and safety.
-Any changes in product design, the source of the product components or manufacturing is required to be re-tested and re-certified for federal safety standards.
-Labeling is voluntary but children’s products may now apply a label “Meets CPSC Safety Requirements” if compliance is met with federal standards.
-Must keep accurate and up-to-date records on testing and certification.
Consumers may need some help when it comes to detecting a hazardous toy. Kids Health offers these tips to parents, caregivers or guardians when purchasing a toy for a child:
-Any toy made of fabric should either be marked with a flame retardant or flame resistant label.
-Look for an “I am washable” indicator on all stuffed toys.
-Materials used for art should state they are nontoxic. Crayons and paints should be evaluated by the American Society for Testing Materials and contain an ASTM D-4236 label for compliance.
-Any painted toy should have been covered in lead-free paint.
-Refrain from purchasing old toys at flea markets or yard sales because they may not be compliant with federal safety standards.
To review past and present recalls on defective products before you shop for the holidays, visit CPSC recalls online.
If you or someone you love has been injured by a defective product or toy-related accident in Charlotte, Asheville, Winston-Salem or throughout North Carolina, contact the injury lawyers at the Lee Law Offices, P.A. for a free no-obligation appointment. Call 1-800-887-1965 today.
More Blog Entries:
Winston-Salem Parents Concerned About Halloween Costumes Causing Child Injuries in North Carolina, North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyers Blog, October 21, 2011.
Strangulation Hazard a Serious Danger in Children’s Clothes, Cribs in North Carolina, North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyers Blog, August 2, 2011.