The holidays are a wonderful time of year. Each of us has the opportunity to spend time with loved ones and friends, often while exchanging gifts.
As a Connecticut personal injury law firm, we all too often see cases involving defective and dangerous products. One product category that is of genuine concern this time of year is the toy category. Toys are great fun – but they can sometimes pose serious health risks.
So how do you make sure the toys you're purchasing are safe? Here are six tips:
1. Choking hazards
Choking is a prevalent cause of toy-related deaths. It's important that the toys you purchase for very young children (under 3) do not contain small parts that can be placed in the mouth and swallowed. Bigger is better for this age group. If a toy or any part of a toy can fit through a toilet paper roll – do not give it to a young child.
Also – never give young children small balls, balloons, or even broken balloons. When swallowed, they will often wholly obstruct a child's airways.
2. Avoid Magnetic Toys With Powerful Magnets
Magnets can often fall out of toys – and to a small child, look like candy. If a child swallows more than one magnet – those magnets can lock onto each other and cause life-threatening conditions. If a child swallows even one magnet, seek immediate medical attention.
3. Stay Away From Watch or "Button" Batteries
These tiny batteries are hazardous in many ways. In particular – if swallowed, the chemicals in the batteries can leach out, causing severe harm.
4. Strangulation Hazards – Cords, Drawstrings, and Mobiles
- Cords: Remove knobs and beads from cords longer than one foot to prevent the cords from tangling into a dangerous loop.
- Drawstrings: Clothing with drawstrings on a hood can get caught on playground equipment and other objects and create a choking hazard.
- Mobiles: Mobiles often use strings and wires to suspend playful objects. Keep all mobiles away from infants and remove them entirely once a child can sit up independently.
5. Lead and Other Toxic Chemicals
Sadly – many toys manufactured in Asia and elsewhere contain toxic heavy metals like lead, cadmium, and phthalates (a dangerous chemical used in some plastics) – even though toys containing those substances are illegal. High levels of lead are often found in vinyl lunch boxes and bibs, and children's costume jewelry.
Also, always read the labels of play cosmetics and avoid all products with xylene, toluene, or dibutyl phthalate.
6. Finally – Stay Informed of Recalls.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission recalls numerous toys and children's products each year. Check www.recalls.gov for an archive of old recalls and sign up to receive email alerts of new recalls.
If you or a loved one are ever injured by a defective product in Connecticut, know that the Connecticut product liability lawyers at RisCassi & Davis have been assisting people like you who've been injured in these accidents for over 60 years. And we have received both state and national recognition for our work in this area. If you are ever injured in an accident of any kind and would like a free consultation with one of our Connecticut injury lawyers, please contact us. There is no obligation.