December 10, 2010 by Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner

Defective product injuries in Fort Myers, Southwest Florida, a common holiday danger

Perhaps at no other time of the year are defective products injuries in Fort Myers a greater risk than during the holiday season. Holiday decorations, candles, toys and presents -- even space heaters for those Southwest Florida cold snaps -- can all spell danger if defective or used inappropriately.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission recently announced that the number of emergency room visits involving children injured by toys has increased substantially in recent years, from 152,000 in 2005 to 186,000 last year.
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“By limiting metals and chemicals in toys and making the voluntary standard mandatory, CPSC has put safeguards in place for toys to better protect children,” said Chairman Inez Tenenbaum. “The increase in injuries is a concern, and we want parents to make safe purchases and for children to be safe at play. To help keep what has been called the most wonderful time of the year happy and incident-free, CPSC is encouraging consumers to adopt a three-pronged safety approach.”

The organization reminds parents to choose age-appropriate toys, to purchase necessary safety equipment with skateboards and other toys, and to ensure a child has a safe place in which to play.

The government reports a total of 44 dangerous toys have been recalled so far this year, compared to 50 last year and 172 in 2008, when dangerous Chinese products were being recalled seemingly every week. But toys don't tell the whole story -- more than 100 other children's products, including strollers, cribs and clothing, have also been recalled because of dangerous or deadly defects.

Fires, falls and other hazards associated with holiday decorating are also a concern. Each year, the government reports about 12,000 consumers are treated in hospital emergency rooms for injuries associated with holiday decorating. More than 160 are killed in fires caused by Christmas trees and candles.

"Home decorating for the holidays is a wonderful tradition, and CPSC wants to ensure that this holiday season is a safe and happy one," said Tenenbaum. "To prevent a holiday tradition from becoming a holiday tragedy, keep lighted candles in sight, check trees for freshness, and don't use lights with broken sockets or frayed wires."

A safe holiday decorating guide is available here.

List of product recalls in Florida is available here.

Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner, Attorneys for the Injured, is a law firm dedicated to representing injury victims in personal injury and wrongful death claims throughout South Florida, including Fort Myers, Cape Coral, Naples, Port Charlotte and Sebring. Call for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your rights. 1-800-283-2900.

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