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Protecting Children from Dangerous Gifts this Holiday Season

Officials with the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) monitor and recall toys and other children’s products to help keep dangerous products out of our home and away from our children. Some of the most important regulations that officials have implements is to require testing by a third-party, independent laboratory and to enforce strict lead and phthalate limits to keep violative and dangerous toys at the ports and out of the marketplace and your child’s hands. With all of these efforts, Americans can be more at ease when shopping for their child’s holiday gifts. But consumers aren’t free from risks. Unfortunately, there are still items that make it through these checks and into our homes with some serious risks for accidents and injuries.

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Over the last 5 years, officials with the CPSC and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) have stopped close to 10 million units of roughly 3,000 different toys from getting into our homes. These stopped products violated federal standards.

Child product injuries in Broward are likely this holiday season if parents and guardians aren’t prepared. In 2013, there have already been more than 30 toy recalls placed by officials with the CPSC. Although the number of recalls has declined in recent years, with more than 170 in 2008, roughly 50 in 2009, about 34 in 2010 and less than 40 in 2011, there are still serious risks. The most common of recalls were the result of chemical and magnetic dangers. Even with the decrease in recalls, there will still more than 11 child fatalities result from dangerous products in the U.S. in 2012. Thousands of children are treated in hospital emergency rooms each year for toy-related injuries.

Most of the fatalities that occurred in 2012 we the result of riding toys. Asphyxiation and aspiration were the next top causes of toy-related fatalities.

According to a new report from the CPSC, there were more than 190,000 toy-related E.R. visits by children under the age of 15 in 2012 in the U.S.

Before heading out for this year’s toy shopping, make sure you “Think Toy Safety”.

Be on the lookout for:

-Sharp edges. Toys should be free of sharp edges and glass.

-Cords and strings. Toys with long strong or cords are dangerous for infants and young children.

-Propelled objects. These toys can be turned into weapons and can injure eyes in particular.

-Electric toys. Children should be taught to use electric toys properly, cautiously and under adult supervision.

-Sharp points. A CPSC regulation prohibits sharp points in new toys and other articles intended for use by children under the age of 8.

Whenever purchasing a holiday gift for a child, you want to keep in mind their age, skill level and interests. Make sure that the items you choose are designed with quality construction in mind. Make sure that the manufacturer’s instructions are clear to you and, when needed, to the child. Whenever you unwrap a gift, make sure that you properly dispose of the wrappings. And don’t forget to discard any toys that have been broken.

Here’s to wishing you and your children a safe and happy holiday season!

Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner, Attorneys for the Injured, is a law firm dedicated to representing accident victims in personal injury and wrongful death claims in South Florida. Call today for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your case. 1-800-283-2900.

More Blog Entries:

CPSC Keeps Nearly 5 Million Defective Products From Your Home, Florida Injury Lawyer Blog, August 13, 2013
Defective Products and the Holiday Shopping Season, Florida Injury Lawyer Blog, December 24, 2013