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‘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.

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

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