The 2019 holiday season is in full swing! Parents all across the country are heading to the mall, department stores, and online retailers to get all sorts of gifts and goodies for their little ones who have been good all year. But what most parents don’t know is that they could be putting their children in danger by purchasing defective and dangerous toys that remain on the market despite their hazards.
The United States Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) recently released its “Trouble in Toyland 2019” report. In the report, the nonprofit public safety organization discusses some of the most common yet dangerous toys that parents are buying for their kids this year, not knowing just how hazardous some of those toys can be. Through its efforts, PIRG helped recall a dozen toys in 2018, and it might be able to make similar positive strides this holiday season, too.
2019’s Dangerous Holiday Toys to Avoid
- Balloons: As innocuous as they might seem, balloons pose a serious choking hazard to young children. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) consistently reports balloons as one of the most prominent choking hazards, year after year. Whether children inhale balloons while trying to inflate them or chew on rubber bits after they pop, balloons can be downright dangerous.
- Toys with sound: It is no secret that children love toys that light up and make loud sounds. However, if a sound gets too loud, it can actually damage a child’s hearing. Children are usually more sensitive to loud sounds than adults, which makes loud toys more hazardous to them than they are to you. If a toy sounds loud enough to irritate you, then it is probably loud enough to damage your child’s developing eardrums.
- Fidget spinners: Believe it or not, fidget spinners are still a popular craze among children. Don’t be surprised if your child asks for one from Santa Claus this year. Did you know, though, that some fidget spinners contain pure lead? PIRG identified at least one fidget spinner with lead levels that exceed the CPSC’s acceptable levels 300 times over. See about getting your child a plastic fidget spinner to avoid lead exposure.
- Magnetic toys: No pun intended, but young children are strangely attracted to magnets in their toys, to the point of wanting to eat them. According to the “Trouble in Toyland 2019” report, 54 small magnets were extracted from four children in just one month at a single hospital in Portland. Until stronger regulations are created, or until your child is a teenager, you should keep magnetic toys out of your household for the time being.
- Slime: Slime toys and make-your-own slime kits are quite popular right now among children aged 4 to 14. Although slime can be a fun way to encourage a scientific mind, it can also be a serious toxic hazard if ingestion. Most slimes use boron or borax to get the right consistency. Ingesting boron can cause intestinal distress, vomiting, and other serious health conditions. The colorful and goopy nature of slime is also enticing to young children, who are more likely to want to eat some of it out of curiosity.
What to Do After Holiday Toy Harm
Even the most vigilant parent can sometimes overlook a toy’s dangers. Even a seemingly safe and well-manufactured product can have hidden dangers, like the lead in fidget spinners. The truth is you can never be 100% certain about what toy is safe for your child and what is not. If your child is hurt this holiday season due to an unsafe toy, try not to beat yourself up about it. Instead, start thinking about who is actually accountable for what happened.
Product liability laws allow you, the consumer, to hold toy manufacturers liable for any damages their unreasonably unsafe toys cause. For example, if your child eats slime and gets sick from boron poisoning, then you could file a claim against the company that made and sold the slime. Your case will only be bolstered if the product packaging and instructions did not include adequate warnings about the toy’s potential dangers, as many do not.
To see if you should be filing a product liability claim against a toy manufacturer after your child is injured, call (732) 440-3089 and connect with an attorney from Levinson Axelrod, P.A. in New Jersey. Our team of trial attorneys has a long history of taking on product manufacturers and large companies in a variety of premises liability claims originating from dangerous consumer products. We may be able to use our years of insight and experience to your advantage as well.
Contact our firm today to learn more.