Recalled Toy Injuries Increase After Christmas

There is perhaps no greater joy as a parent than watching your children tear into their presents on Christmas morning. buildingbrick.jpg

But that joy can quickly be tempered if your child then is injured as a result of a dangerous toy or other defective product. Although we want to believe that the products that are manufactured and distributed for use by infants and children would be designed with safe use as the top priority, this is sadly not always true.

When a product injuries a child , a product liability lawsuit may be the best recourse.

While recalls can be a helpful way to alert parents to the potential dangers of a given product, they are not full-proof. In some cases, months go by following the discovery of a design flaw or danger before a formal recall is initiated.

Note too that just because an item is recalled doesn’t mean you don’t have grounds to sue for injuries. In fact, your case may even be stronger because a recall indicates that the manufacturer or federal safety officials or both have recognized a serious problem.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission recently underscored the efforts that it has made in recent years to bolster toy safety. It requires testing by independent, third-party testing conducted in laboratories across the globe. It also enforces strict limits for phthalates and lead in toys. The agency has also increased its presence at the country’s major ports, randomly testing overseas shipments of child toys and identifying dangers before they hit the market.

The agency reports that since 2008, agency officials situated at U.S. Customs and Border Protection checkpoints have halted the distribution of nearly 10 million units of some 3,000 different toys, after it was discovered those products failed to meet applicable safety standards.

During the 2013 fiscal year, the agency reports that it has initiated 31 toy recalls. Five years earlier, the agency had initiated nearly 175 toy recalls. A decreasing number of these recalls involve lead standard violations. For the most part, the recalls are related to ingestion and strangulation hazards.

A recent example involves a children’s wall-mounted star lamp, sold by IKEA. The item has been pulled from shelves after government safety regulators learned that a 16-month-old in a crib was killed after the cord became entangled around his neck. A similar incident involved a 15-month-old who suffered a near-strangulation for the same reason.

More than 1 million of these have been sold in North America, and some 23 million sold worldwide.

The CPSC reports that between 2010 and 2012, nearly 50 children in the U.S. died as a result of toy-related injuries. Most of the fatalities involved injuries associated with riding-related toys, such as non-motorized scooters and tricycles. These were followed by deaths resulting from asphyxiation and aspiration.

Last year alone, the agency estimates there were 192,000 incidents of emergency room treatments resulting from toy-related injuries to children under the age of 15.

In order to limit these kinds of incidents in 2014, authorities recommend:

  • Keeping balloons away from children younger than 8 and discarding broken balloons immediately;
  • Toys with small parts and balls should be kept away from children under the age of 3;
  • Make sure helmets and safety gear are always worn when children are using riding toys;
  • Keep toys intended for older children away from younger siblings and friends.

Contact our North Carolina personal injury lawyers at Lee Law Offices today by calling 800-887-1965.

Additional Resources:
Global System of Toy Safety Works to Keep Kids Safe This Holiday Season; Recalls Down, Port Seizures Up, Nov. 20, 2013, Press Release, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission

More Blog Entries:
Liability and Negligence in North Carolina Exculpatory Agreements, Dec. 14, 2013, Asheville Personal Injury Lawyer Blog

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