Toys are a childhood staple. The right toys can do much more than keep your child entertained – they can also improve learning, development and social skills. As a parent, you might not anticipate a child’s toy containing a defect that injures your child. Unfortunately, you cannot trust all toy manufacturers to create safe items. Thousands of children suffer acute injuries each year because of defective toys. Shopping for safe toys takes a certain level of vigilance as a parent or consumer.
Choose Within the Correct Age Range
Do not ignore suggested age ranges on toys, clothing and other children’s products. These guidelines are in place for the safety of the child. Shopping for items outside of a child’s age range could lead to products that are dangerous for him or her to use, such as a toy with a pull string or detachable small parts. While these toys may be suitable for older children, younger children could suffer serious and life-threatening personal injuries by misusing them. Always pay attention to an item’s age range before buying it for the child in your life.
Watch Out for Choking Hazards
Choking is one of the most common causes of infant death related to toys, especially for children under five years old. Common items children choke on include bouncy balls, magnets, balloons, marbles, erasers, small figurines and toys with small parts. When choosing safe toys for children, opt for larger things. Large toys that do not have small parts are safest in terms of choking risk. Make sure the toys you choose are at least too big to fit inside the child’s mouth. Pay attention to the age ranges on labels to make sure you do not accidentally purchase something your small child or infant could choke on.
Shop for Flame-Retardant Items
Burn injuries are a significant threat to children. A child’s clothing or toy could catch fire if it comes in contact with open flames, a match, lighter, fireplace, stovetop burner or electrical spark. Flame-retardant clothing and toys can go a long way toward preventing serious fires that could cause life-threatening or fatal injuries. Always check clothing tags for language such as “flame-retardant” or “flame-resistant” to clothe your child in the safest possible garments. Toys made of fabric should similarly be labeled as “flame-resistant” or “flame-retardant.” Flame-retardant toys and clothing can help prevent major fire risks.
Avoid Projectile Toys
Projectile toys cause a comparatively high number of child injuries. Some of the worst childhood eye injuries, such as missing eyes and permanent vision loss, stem from projectile toys. A few of the most dangerous are toy guns, bows and arrows, toy fishing poles, silly string, darts and anything else that releases an object with force. Help prevent projectile-related injuries by avoiding these types of toys altogether.
Check for Lead-Based Paint
Lead is highly toxic if ingested, especially for vulnerable children. Absorbing lead into the body can damage vital organs, including the brain and kidneys. Since children have a penchant for sticking toys in their mouths, it is critical to purchase toys that do not use lead-based paints. Avoid purchasing old or antique toys that manufacturers may have created before federal laws prohibited the use of high levels of lead in children’s toys. If you receive news of a recall because of unsafe levels of lead, return the toy for your child’s protection. If the recalled product caused your child any injuries, contact a Las Vegas product liability attorney to seek justice for your loss.
Stay Away From Recalled Products
The Consumer Product Safety Commission helps buyers find safe toys for kids by listing recent recalls. A toy or children’s item on the recall list may contain a design, manufacturing or marketing flaw that makes it dangerous for children. The recall list includes defective toys, children’s clothes, and baby furniture. Check for an item on the federal recall list before purchasing it for a child. Review the recall list often to make sure your child does not have any of the defective or dangerous products. If a defective toy does injure your child, call a lawyer to see what your legal options are. You may have grounds to bring a claim against the product manufacturer.