Dangerous Toys for Christmas?

Miley Legal Group

You have all seen them, or at least heard about them.  Every year watch dogs create lists of toys that can be dangerous to children that may play with them.  They warn parents not to buy the products and outline why they are dangerous.  What should you do, especially if the toy your child wants for Christmas is on one of those lists?  What should you do if your child is harmed by a dangerous toy this Christmas?  What if it’s not a toy, maybe another defective product?

World Against Toys Causing Harm, Inc. (WATCH) is one of the organizations that release a 10 Worst Toys list every year.  In 2015, the list includes a foam dart gun that looks like a real firearm, two toys created from major motion pictures, a doctor play set and even a couple pull along toys for young ones.  You can check out the full list here.  Since 1973, each year WATCH issues a list of toys “with the potential to cause childhood injuries and death.”  The lists are discussed and shared across the country and the globe.  In most instances, dangerous toys can be recalled for various reasons, however, with standards as written, toys that have potential danger can still get onto the market and then under a Christmas tree.  WATCH has released a safety list of toy hazards to look for, they include:

  • Toys that have no warnings or instructions while marketed on the internet.
  • Battery operated toys for children under 8, as batteries can leak, overheat or explode.
  • Toys with small removable parts, especially those at the end of laces and strings.
  • Toys with pointed tips and sharp edges
  • Realistic looking toy weapons including guns, dart guns, ninja weaponry, etc…

What if you take all of the precautions and purchase toys not on one of the “lists,” but your child still ends up hurt?  A defective product claim maybe something to consider.  However, there are specific issues that need to be addressed before looking at this type of claim.  One of the most important aspects to consider, is if the product is actually defective and if the defect was a result of someone else’s negligence.  That then must all be tied directly to the injuries sustained by the child, or the adult for that matter.  Sound confusing?  It is.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission issues a report each year discussing the toy related injuries and deaths of the previous year.  In 2014, there were approximately 251,800 toy related injuries, including 11 deaths.  The greatest amount of injuries were directly associated with riding toys (think non-motorized scooters- 56,000 or 22% in 2014) and most victims were younger than 12 years of age.  Head and face injuries make up most of those received, which are generally made up of cuts, scrapes and bruises.

If you have a concern or question about a toy that you have in your home, or that appears on the list, contact the manufacturer or the retail location you purchased the item to ensure that there is not a recall.  If you or your child is harmed by a toy during the Holiday season, and you have questions about a defective product claim, do not hesitate to contact our office.  We have extensive experience in defective product claims and will get you the information you need to protect yourself and your loved ones.

For more information about World Against Toys Causing Harm, Inc., visit toysafety.org.

For more information from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, visit cpsc.gov.