A Toy Story?
Your Children’s Toys: How Safe Are They?
It’s difficult to contemplate that items bringing as much happiness as toys do might cause harm. Yet, like it or not, toys are responsible for a significant number of injuries. Over a quarter-million kids visit the ER because of toy-related injuries every year. One-third of injuries happen to children under the age of five.
Still, we have to ask ourselves, with the annual lists that appear touting “dangerous toys,” is the danger nothing but hype? We know the news media can be prone to exaggeration. What are the facts?
Toy Safety Facts
The numbers of children that end up injured or even dead from toys are not hype—they are facts. But childhood injuries are largely caused by toys that aren’t on any of the lists you might encounter on the internet.
For example, foot-powered (also called nonmotorized) scooters are responsible for an enormous number of injuries and even deaths. In 2013 alone, 52,500 children 14 years of age and younger were injured by such scooters. Obviously, these injuries are not rare events. Riding-toys in general accounted for 38 percent of all injuries that happened to kids 14 and under during 2013.
When it comes to smaller kids, those who are generally too young to ride scooters, the danger comes from ingestible items. We’re talking about small balls, items that break off dolls and action figures, and, notoriously, latex balloons. Latex balloons top the list when it comes to choking injuries and asphyxiation deaths for young kids. In 2013, a total of nine kids died from toy-related injuries; seven of those nine deaths were due to asphyxiation. It’s worth noting that many safety-oriented articles tell you never to give your kids latex balloons, yet balloons don’t appear very often on the unsafe-toys lists.
The fact is, while the toys on the lists may well be unsafe, many of the toys causing problems are approved by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Plenty of kids have been hurt by “approved” toys.
Toy Safety Suggestions
As a parent, there are things you can do to help keep your children’s playtimes safe. Some helpful suggestions regarding toys are:
- Make sure toys are age-appropriate.
- Avoid toys with sharp points and edges.
- Check toys first to be sure they don’t come apart easily, which could result in small pieces kids could choke on.
- Give only washable or nontoxic toys to babies and young children, because the toys will end up in your child’s mouth.
- Check toy sizes. Any object small enough to fit inside an empty toilet paper roll is a choking hazard.
- Do not give kids latex balloons. Ever.
- Make sure your children wear protective items such as elbow and knee pads, and helmets, while using riding toys.
- See the CPSC website for the latest information about recalls.
When others breach their duty, we keep ours.
Protecting our children should be our No. 1 priority. And when children are injured, we need to investigate the causes and make things right. If your child has been injured by a toy, and you believe that negligence is involved, speak with an experienced Indiana personal injury lawyer like Mike Stephenson.
Lawyer Mike Stephenson is a Martindale-Hubbell AV-rated attorney, the highest possible attorney peer rating. You can have complete confidence in Mike because you are talking with an attorney who has more than 30 years’ experience, offering his clients compassionate and successful representation. Keep in mind that there is a statute of limitations – or a deadline – for filing personal injury claims, so it is unwise to delay. Don’t lose the opportunity to obtain the money you need to put your family’s life back on track and to make their future financially secure. Call Mike at 1-317-825-5200 or contact us for immediate help. McNeely Stephenson. We believe justice matters.