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Preventing Toy-Related Injuries This Holiday Season

While product safety has improved in recent years, you can still find dangerous and defective toys on store shelves. When shopping this holiday season, it is important to keep safety in mind.

According to a new report from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), an estimated 185,500 toy-related injuries were treated in emergency departments last year. There were also 11 toy-related deaths of children younger than 15 years old.

More than 40 percent of the injuries included cuts, contusions, or abrasions. Riding toys were associated with five fatalities in 2015. For children 15 years of age or younger, nonmotorized scooters continued to be the category of toys associated with the most incidents, accounting for 25 percent of all injuries.

In fiscal year 2016, there were 24 toy recalls. Toys were recalled for defects that could cause choking, mechanical hazards, and fire hazards posing a threat of injury to a child. During the past four years, the CPSC and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) have also stopped more than eight million unsafe toys and children’s products from ever entering the country.

“Children are our most vulnerable consumers, and as a parent of two boys, I understand what parents and caregivers are concerned about when they go shopping during the holidays,” said CPSC Chairman Elliot F. Kaye. “CPSC’s commitment to working alongside CBP to stop shipments of dangerous toys before they reach kids can go a long way to help your holiday gifts be a source of joy, rather than tragedy.”

The CPSC offers the following safety tips for consumers to keep in mind this holiday season:

  • Magnets: Children's magnetic toys are covered by a strong safety standard that aims to prevent magnets from being swallowed. High-powered magnet sets that do not meet CPSC’s lifesaving standard are not permitted.
  • Balloons: Children can choke or suffocate on deflated or broken balloons. Keep deflated balloons away from children younger than 8 years old. Discard torn balloons immediately.
  • Small balls and other toys with small parts: For children younger than age 3, avoid toys with small parts, which can cause choking.
  • Scooters and other riding toys: Riding toys, skateboards and in-line skates go fast, and falls could be deadly. Helmets and safety gear should be worn properly at all times, and they should be sized to fit.

If your child or someone you care about has suffered serious harm due to a recalled or otherwise defective toy, you may be entitled to compensation. To discuss your legal rights, contact a San Diego product liability lawyer at the Law Offices of Robert Vaage for a free consultation.