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Lead and Phthalates a Toy Hazard Concern for Holiday Shoppers in Sebring, Fort Myers and Elsewhere

In preparation for the upcoming holidays and toy shopping for your little ones, our Sebring defective product attorneys want to remind parents and gift buyers that there are millions of toys on the market, but some are quite dangerous and cause hazards for your children.

Manufacturers, shippers and retailers have an obligation to catch these defects before they hit the market and cause a preventable serious or fatal injury to a young child.
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The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reported 19 toy-related deaths and 235,300 toy-related injuries for children 14 and under in 2008. Almost half of the deaths were connected with riding toys but other causes of death for children under 15 in 2008 were choking and drowning. More than 82,000 of the toy-related injuries treated at a hospital emergency rooms in 2008 were children ages 4 and younger.

In order to reduce the risk of toy-related injuries to children in Fort Myers , Port Charlotte, Cape Coral and elsewhere, gift-buyers need to be aware of the dangers associated with toys. Some toys contain toxic substances from paint or PVC plastic while others can cause cuts, bruises, bone fractures, choking or concussions.

The U.S. federation of state Public Interest Research Groups has released an annual publication for the last 25 years called “Trouble in Toyland,” which examines toy safety.

Over the years, the report has led to 150 recalls of child products and defective toys. Last year’s publication looked at the dangers of chemical hazards and phthalates while visiting several national chain toy stores in September and October of 2010. Lead can be found in several children’s products including metal toys, jewelry, lunchboxes, vinyl bibs, and paint or outer coatings used to cover toys.

Lead exposure can affect nearly every organ or system in the body including the central nervous system. Exposure to lead can cause brain damage in small children. Over a twelve-month period, the CPSC recalled over 500,000 children’s products for violation of the lead paint standard. Exposure to phthalates has been found by scientists to cause potential health effects during critical stages of development. Two products were found last year to contain levels of phthalates in excess of limits allowed by CPSIA.

Gifts.com offers these tips on how to buy safe toys this holiday season:
-Manufacturers place age restrictions on toys for a reason, so make sure the toy you are purchasing is age appropriate for the child you are buying for.
-When purchasing for a small child or infant, check to make sure small or loose parts can’t be disconnected or chewed off.
-Take the toilet paper tube test. If the toy fits through the tube, it could be hazardous to your child.
-Don’t purchase a toy with straps, cords or strings longer than 7 inches for a young child in order to prevent choking or suffocation hazards.
-Check the product for sharp edges or breakable parts that could cause a severe cut or laceration to a child’s hands or face.
-Dolls, puzzles, action figures and building sets often contain magnets which can be fatal for children when swallowed. Refrain from buying toys with magnets.
-Read warning labels for hazardous substances or toxic chemicals.
-Check riding toys for sturdiness and potential fall hazards. Purchase protective equipment like kneepads, elbow pads or a helmet if required to reduce the risk of injury from a riding toy.
-Check the product for recalls. Visit the CPSC website for a full list of Toy Hazard Recalls.

Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner, Attorneys for the Injured offer free consultations to victims and their families who have been injured by defective products in Fort Myers, Naples, Sebring, Port Charlotte, Cape Coral or the surrounding areas. If your child has been injured in a toy-related accident, call 1-800-283-2900 to speak with an experienced child injury lawyer today.

More Blog Entries:
Our Fort Myers Personal Injury Lawyers Wish You a Safe and Happy Halloween, Florida Injury Lawyer Blog, October 24, 2011.

CPSC Steps Up Enforcement Efforts to Prevent Child Injury in Naples and Elsewhere, Florida Injury Lawyer Blog, August 1, 2011.

Fort Myers Defective Products, Premise Liability Issues a Holiday Weekend Danger, Florida Injury Lawyer Blog, July 4, 2011.