The holiday season is an exciting time for families across the country. From decorations to holiday movies, carols, and feasts, there’s no better time of year to spend time with family and make memories. If you have young children in your life, you also know that there’s nothing like seeing their faces light up when they get that special toy they were hoping for.
Before you begin your holiday shopping, however, you should always remember that certain toys are hazardous to young children. As December is Safe Toys and Gifts Month, our team wants to take this time to provide some tips when shopping for children’s gifts and toys.
Hazardous Toys Lead to Injuries
Year after year, thousands of children are injured by either hazardous or defective toys. According to a recent study by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), there were nearly 252,000 toy-related injuries treated in emergency rooms in 2014.
Of those, 72% of injuries were to children under the age of 15, and about 89,500 were to those under the age of 5. The most commonly injured parts of the body include the head and face area and the following toys and products are the most common culprits of child injuries:
- Small toys or toys with small parts
- Riding toys
Safety Tips to Keep in Mind This Holiday
With that said, we urge you to take the following steps when preparing your holiday shopping lists in order to avoid putting a hazardous or defective product in the hands of those most at-risk of injuries:
- Choose Age-Appropriate Toys. Look for labels that say what age level the toy is for and keep toys for older children away from younger siblings.
- Remember Safety Gear. Bikes, scooters, skateboards, and other sports gifts should be given with the proper safety gear (helmets, knee pads, elbow pads, etc.).
- Inspect Toys Prior to Purchasing. Look for nontoxic messaging and ASTM labels, meaning the toy has been inspected and approved by the American Society for Testing and Materials.
- Avoid Toys with Small Parts. Young children tend to put things in their mouths, and small toys or parts are a choking hazard.
- Constantly Look for Recalls. Thousands of toys are recalled every year; constantly check the CPSP website for recent toy recalls.
- Discard of Wrapping After Opening. Always discard small plastic pieces and other wrappings after opening gifts to eliminate potential choking hazards.
From all of us at Huffman & Huffman, we hope that you and your family have a wonderful and safe holiday season.
If your child is injured by a hazardous or defective product this holiday season, learn more about your legal options by contacting our Newport News product liability attorneys at (757) 330-3425.