The Holidays are Coming!
December 31st, 2016 | Brian Q. McDonnell
The holiday season will soon be here and that of course involves cherished traditions of giving and receiving gifts. When it comes to giving toys to young children it is important to keep in mind these safety tips.
1. Age Appropriateness.
Most toys contain a recommended age sticker. It is important to pay attention to the age recommendation and be realistic in selecting the appropriate toy based on the child's age, physical ability, and maturity level. A toy that is safe for an older child can be hazardous in the hands of a younger child. Follow age recommendations on toy labels for this reason.
2. Choking Hazards.
Children under 4 years are especially prone to choking injuries. Do not give young children toys with small removable parts like eyes and noses on stuffed animals and dolls and small removable squeakers on squeeze toys as they are choking hazards. Health authorities also recommend that parents keep children away from balloons, especially latex balloons. Children can choke on balloons when they try to inflate the balloon or chew on the deflated balloon or pieces of a burst balloon.
3. Strangulation Hazards.
Watch out for toys with long string, cords, loops, or ribbons. Young children can easily become entangled in long string or a cord and sustain serious injury or death.
4. Magnets and Batteries.
Be on the lookout for tiny magnets and button-size batteries that are often used in toys. These small magnets and batteries may fall out of the toy and look like shiny candy to a child. If swallowed they can cause serious life-threatening injuries.
5. Noise Hazards.
Some toys may pose a noise hazard to children. If a toy seems too loud to you, it is probably too loud for the child. Take the batteries out of the loud toy or cover its speakers with tape.
6. Sharps Points.
Toys for children under 8 years should not have sharp points or edges. Discard older toys that are broken to prevent injuries.
7. Toxins and Chemicals.
Toys made in other countries and imported into the U.S. or antique toys or collectibles passed down through generations may contain lead that can put a child at risk for lead exposure. All lead should be removed from a child's environment especially lead jewelry and other toys that can be put in the mouth or swallowed. Also, avoid toys made from PVC plastic, which often contains lead and phthalates.
8. Safety Gear.
Bicycles, scooters, skateboards and the like are safer when children wear protective gear. If you plan on giving these types of toys consider also giving a helmet, knee pads, elbow pads, and/or wrist guards to help prevent injury.
These are just a few safety tips. Always use your common sense and be sure to read and follow all safety warnings and instructions that accompany the toy. For more information on this important subject you can read the 28th Annual "Trouble in Toyland" survey report released by U.S. PIRG Education Fund at www.uspirgedfund.org.
If you or a loved one has been injured by a defective product, contact the attorneys at Hourigan, Kluger & Quinn today for a free consultation at 570-287-3000 or at www.hkqlaw.com.