Posted in Product Liability on December 16, 2019
Product manufacturers should legally ensure the safety and usability of the toys and products they produce for children. Federal organizations maintain high safety standards for manufacturers of products for kids. When companies ignore these standards or fail to properly safety-test their products before releasing them, injuries can happen. If your child suffers an injury related to an unsafe toy this holiday season, speak to a product liability lawyer in San Antonio about a potential suit against the manufacturing or distribution company.
An unsafe toy may contain a defect, or it may be inherently unsafe for children due to the nature of the toy. Nonpowdered firearm toys, for example, such as paintball guns and BB guns, can pose significant risks of childhood injuries. Projectile toys can shoot children in the eyes and cause serious, sometimes life-altering, injuries. They can also cause traumatic head and brain injuries, as well as bruises and contusions. Unsafe toys may or may not contain proper warnings against their foreseeable risks.
Some unsafe toys contain problems or defects that make them unreasonably dangerous for the average child to use. A defect may be in a toy’s design, manufacture or marketing. An unsafe design means even when correctly assembled, the toy is inherently dangerous for children. An example of an unsafe design is the original Easy-Bake Oven that used a lightbulb for heating. Easy-Bake recalled its ovens twice for a dangerous design that posed an entrapment and burn hazard for kids. One child had to have part of her fingers amputated after getting stuck in the oven’s opening. Now, Easy-Bake has rereleased its ovens with a new electric heating element.
A manufacturing defect means the toy had a safe design, but something went awry during manufacture to create an unsafe toy. An error during the toy’s production created a dangerous defect. An example would be a batch of toys contaminated with a heavy metal such as lead during production. These toys would pose a hazard to children if ingested. A marketing defect is an issue with how the company advertises or markets the product, such as failing to put a “3+” label on a toy that could pose a choking hazard to infants. Every year, unsafe and defective toys cause thousands of child injuries.
Common Injuries Related to Unsafe Toys
In 2017, emergency rooms in the U.S. treated approximately 251,700 toy-related injuries. Sadly, 13 children younger than 12 years old died from toy-related injuries in 2017. Riding toys caused seven of these deaths (54%), with six involving motor vehicles. Unsafe toys can cause many serious child injuries, from broken bones to strangulation.
- Electric shocks
- Eye injuries
- Face injuries
- Head and brain injuries
- Ingestion of harmful substances
- Lacerations or abrasions
- Wrongful death
Some of the most common causes of fatal toy injuries are motor vehicle involvement, airway obstruction and drowning. Riding toys such as non-motorized scooters and tricycles are especially dangerous for children, even when manufactured correctly. Balls have also caused many child deaths due to airway obstruction. Any toys with batteries could also be unsafe due to an ingestion hazard.
Recalled Products in 2019
Some toys are inherently dangerous for kids even without recalls. Others, however, are only dangerous because the manufacturer made a mistake. Before you shop for the child in your life this holiday season, check the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s recall list for particularly unsafe toys. The Commission continuously updates its list as it receives reports of unsafe toys and manufacturer recalls. The latest toy recalls in December 2019 include the Kindermusik Zoom Buggy Car, Disney plush Forky toy and Bullseye Playground wooden toy vehicles from Target. If your child suffers a serious injury relating to a toy of any kind, consult with a lawyer about a possible product liability claim.