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Increase in Toy Related Injuries Concerns Experienced California Injury Lawyers

By Kelly Balamuth on December 16, 2014

Defective Product LawyerDespite heroic attempts by federal and state governments to improve children’s toy safety and increased awareness by parents and caregivers of the risks certain toys pose, the number of children injured by defective toys or in toy-related accidents continues to climb, according to a study published recently in Clinical Pediatrics.

Experienced California personal injury lawyers view the new numbers with concern.  Researchers found that between 1990 and 2011, toy-related injuries jumped from just over 120,000 per year to over 195,000 by 2011.  The injury rate also increased.  In 1990, 18.9 children per 10,000 visited an emergency room for treatment of a toy-related injury.  By 2011, 25.6 children per 10,000 needed emergency care for harm caused by a toy. Read the rest »

Child Injury Prevention: Tips for Safer Toy Giving this Holiday Season

By Kelly Balamuth on December 3, 2012

Bay Area Toy Safety TipsThe celebration of the Thanksgiving holiday and the infamous Black Friday shopping extravaganzas likely mark the beginning of the holiday shopping season for a number of Californians. Shopping and finding everyone in your family the perfect gift is one of the most fun parts of the holiday season, but as you shop and prepare gifts for your youngest family members, it is imperative to keep in mind simple safety tips to prevent your child or small sibling from being injured.

Courtesy of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the following are tips for safe toy giving for you and your family:

  • Always select toys to suit the skills, abilities, interests, and age of your young gift recipient. Toys that are too advanced for the child may pose a safety hazard.
  • To prevent burns and electrical shocks, don’t give children under the age of 10 any toy that must be plugged into an electrical outlet. Consider buying toys that are battery operated.
  • Remove strings and ribbons from toys before giving them to young children, and watch for pull toys with strings longer than 12 inches. Doing so can prevent a strangulation hazard for babies.
  • Children can have serious intestinal and stomach problems after swallowing button batteries and magnets, so keep them away from small children and call your healthcare provider immediately if the child swallows one.
  • Small parts in toys and games can be a choking hazard for children. Per government guidelines, children under the age of three cannot have toys that have parts less than 1 ¼ inches in diameter and 2 ¼ inches long.

To have a safe and happy holiday season, adhering to these gift-giving guidelines for the youngest members of your family can prevent a dangerous accident, but the negligence of another may still endanger the safety of your child. If you child has been injured due to the careless actions of another party, contact a personal injury attorney at Balamuth Law for assistance in getting the compensation your child needs to heal. Call (888) 254-1234 for a free consultation.

Baby Dolls Recalled for Choking Hazard

By Kelly Balamuth on April 11, 2012

A line of baby dolls sold by Lakeshore Learning, Inc. has been recalled recently because the dolls’ fingers and toes may come off, posing a choking hazard, according to a recent report from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). So far, no injuries to children have been reported, but the separated digits are small enough to cause choking in children.

The dolls are known as Feels Real Baby Dolls. They are made of soft plastic and stand about 14 inches high with moveable arms, legs, and heads. The dolls were available in four different skin tones, known as “Caucasian,” “Hispanic,” “Black,” and “Asian.” They were sold dressed in cloth diapers that had two tags, one reading “Lakeshore Learning” and the other reading “550220.” About 3,900 were purchased in the United States between 2010 and 2011, with many sold in California, where Lakeshore Learning has its headquarters.

Parents whose children have one of these dolls should immediately take the doll away from their child and call Lakeshore Learning, Inc. at (800) 428-4414 or visit www.lakeshorelearning.com for information on how to receive a free replacement doll with fingers and toes securely attached.

When you give a toy to a child you care about, you assume it’s been tested and determined safe for young ones. When a defective toy causes injuries, however, the results can be devastating. At Balamuth Law, our diligent Northern California defective toy injury attorneys strive to provide outstanding services to each client we represent, seeking to hold all negligent parties accountable for their actions. Call us today at (888) 254-1234 for a free and confidential case evaluation.

‘Tis the Season for Toy Safety

By Kelly Balamuth on December 9, 2011

Increased safety standards for toys have helped significantly reduce the content of dangerous chemicals in products (such as lead and phthalates), heightened requirements for safety testing and regulations, and tightened rules on importing from countries outside the U.S. These changes have yielded strong results: the total number of dangerous toy recalls dropped to 34 in 2011 from 174 in 2008, while recalls specifically related to lead dropped down to 4 this year from 19 in 2008, according to a recent report by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

In spite of the stated progress, the CPSC estimated that fatalities for kids under the age of 15 increased, while around 181,500 children in that same age group were treated for toy related injuries in hospital emergency rooms in 2010. The CPSC issued the following toy guidelines to help kids stay safe this holiday season:

  • Beware of balloons: These regularly cause choking accidents when deflated. Do not let kids under eight play with them, and always throw out broken ones. The same goes for any toys with small components that can become detached and lodged in a child’s throat.
  • Supervise scooters and skateboards: Toys that involve active riding result in a large portion of toy injuries every year. Always be sure children wear helmets and other activity appropriate and properly fitting safety gear at all times.
  • Magnets are not toys: Do not give magnet building sets to kids under the age of six years old. If swallowed, serious injury or death can transpire.

While the progress in safety measures is encouraging, the work is not enough, especially until all children are safe from toy related injuries that result from manufacturing problems and manufacturer defects. Has your child been injured by a dangerous toy accident in Northern California that you think resulted from a manufacturer error? If so, call the dangerous toy attorneys in Santa Cruz with Balamuth Harrington at (888) 254-1234 for a complimentary case review.

Toy-Related Injuries Have Dropped in Recent Years, but Numbers Still High

By Kelly Balamuth on December 7, 2011

The number of children injured by defective toys in the United States has decreased in recent years, thanks in part to greater public awareness of dangerous toy conditions and greater regulation and enforcement by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). However, far too many children are injured by their toys each year.

In 2010, about 181,000 children were seen in emergency rooms nationwide for toy-related injuries, a significant decrease from the 251,000 children who were seen for such injuries in 2009. By far the most common injury-causing toys were non-motorized scooters. Children who were injured in scooter accidents had injuries ranging from bruises and scrapes to traumatic brain injuries. Most scooter-related accidents happened to children under age 15, and the most serious accidents frequently involved children who were not wearing helmets or safety pads when the accident occurred.

Only seven children lost their lives to defective toys in 2010, according to the CPSC. Most of these deaths were caused by choking, often on balloons or small toy parts. The CPSC recommends choosing age-appropriate toys and keeping older children’s toys away from young children to avoid choking accidents.

Defective toys can quickly turn a day of fun into a day of tears. If a child you love has been injured by a toy, please don’t hesitate to call the experienced California toy injury lawyers at Balamuth Harrington. We will help you understand your legal rights and options and fight for the compensation your family deserves. For more information, call us today at (888) 254-1234 for a free and confidential consultation.

Fisher Price Recalls Campsite Toy for Possible Choking Hazard

By Kelly Balamuth on August 6, 2010

Manufacturers have an obligation to create products that are safe to use, especially when it comes to children’s products. However, the makers of Little People Play ‘n Go Campsite, Fisher Price, have issued a recall with the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) due to a potential choking hazard that a small plastic figure can pose if broken.

According to the CPSC, there have thankfully been no choking hazard injuries reported at the time of the recall, although about 96,000 units of this particular Fisher Price toy were sold in the U.S. The specific toy in question, part of a play set, is described as being able to bend at the waist, has a green sweater, and has a purple camera around its neck (both the sweater and camera accessories are part of the same piece of molded plastic). Consumers who possess the figurine in question are urged to remove it from their child/children’s possession, and contact Fisher-Price at (800) 432-5437 for a free replacement.

Fortunately, the CPSC was established to help protect consumers from dangerous products. Defective children products can take various forms, and are characterized by either a flaw in a product’s design, an unforeseen flaw created during the manufacturing process, or improperly worded or insufficient safety instructions that fail to warn of potential hazards that the product may pose.

Dangerous products affect consumers all across the country, including Northern California. If you or a loved one has been injured by a dangerous product, it is important to remember that you have rights as a consumer. For more information about how you can hold a negligent manufacturer accountable for your injuries, please contact Balamuth Harrington, LLP. Call our Northern California defective product lawyers today at 888-254-1234. We offer free consultations.

Attorney Kelly Balamuth was profiled in the
September 2013 Issue of Plaintiff Magazine.

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