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Challenge: Best Toys

Defective Toys, Product Liability and Keeping Your Child Safe

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Parents buy toys to make their children happy, but when a toy that appears safe suddenly is ingested by a child, the results can be devastating. CPSC found that 11 children died from toy-related deaths in 2015.

But a small part of a toy that dislodges can lead to choking and non-death causing injuries, too.

Parents need to be aware of product liability laws if they want to be able to maintain their rights. It's wrong to assume that all products are reasonably safe. Recalls are common for toys when they pose an unreasonable risk of injury or death.

With the holiday season quickly approaching, you'll want to keep the following points in mind:

  1. Report Child Injuries. Even if an injury is minor, parents should report child injuries that stem from dangerous products. Manufacturers and sellers have a duty to make sure that their products are safe for consumers. Oftentimes, this duty is not upheld. But by not reporting child injuries, product recalls will not happen. Parents should report injuries to help push a product recall of a dangerous product that can lead to the death or injury of another child.

  2. Product Time on Market Doesn't Matter. The time the product has been on the market doesn't mean that it is safe. Manufacturers will try and protect their profits by fighting against claims. It may take years of reports before a product is recalled. CPSC focuses the majority of their recalls on products that are geared towards children. Even if you think a product has been on the market for decades and an accident may be a fluke occurrence, make a complaint to help protect other children from injuries or death.

"As consumers, we are bound to become victims of injuries caused by defective products. Such defects may cause serious injuries, which can result in filing a product liability lawsuit," states Mainor Wirth.

If you want to avoid product defects, it's almost impossible. But there are avenues that you can take to lower your risk of product liability and defective toys. The main points to keep in mind are:

  • Batteries often lead to choking. You'll want to avoid toys that feature coin or button batteries. These batteries can injure the child's digestive tract.

  • Old toys are not kept to strict guidelines. Newer toys that are manufactured more recently will need to meet current safety standards.

  • Look for products that state that the product has been evaluated by the American Society for Testing and Materials.

As a parent, it's recommended that you try and apply pressure to plastic toys. If the toy is easily breakable, your child can break the toy and swallow it. The CPSC does list product alerts that will alert you of any defective products. You'll want to check these alerts often to ensure that your child's products are not defective.

If your child has been injured because of a toy or defective product, you can file a product liability claim against the manufacturer and seller of the product. Consumers have protection against defective products, but they need to file a claim to ensure that they're made whole again.

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