Parents should be able to buy any age-appropriate toy for their child and rest easy in the knowledge that the product was designed well, created with high-quality materials, and won’t cause their child unexpected harm. However, anyone who’s ever picked up a newspaper or turned on a computer knows that just isn’t the world we’re living in.
Children’s toys are the same as any consumer good—a hopeful money-maker for some company out there that at the end of the day, could be willing to cut corners on safety, testing, and design in order to make themselves and their shareholders a little more money. So what happens when dangerous, defective, and poorly-designed toys make their way onto store shelves? Innocent and unsuspecting children are often the ones to pay the worst price, suffering serious injuries, and in the worst cases, death, because of this carelessness.
2017 is only half-way over, and a number of toys intended for use by children have already set themselves apart as extremely dangerous. Parents should keep themselves informed of this list so that they can hopefully avoid these items and keep their children from potential harm.
Those Stupid Fidget Spinners
Every school teacher wants to hit their head against a wall when they hear mention of fidget spinners, but parents should want to throw them right out the window with the risks they pose. Fidget spinners are composed of extremely small parts and unfortunately, many of these items are made of low-quality materials that easily break off and can become choking hazards for children.
A recent report revealed that so far, there have been two confirmed instances of children choking on pieces of fidget spinners, one in Texas and another in Oregon, and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is investigating other potential incidents involving these whirly toys. Additionally, Germany recently destroyed 39 tons of fidget spinners over similar safety concerns.
Hoverboards: You’ll Fall on Your Face….or CATCH ON FIRE
Everyone loved seeing videos of their friends and family around the holidays this last year attempting to ride, and usually falling off of, hoverboards—arguably last holiday season’s biggest fad toy. Unfortunately, falling and looking like an idiot is far from the greatest risk associated with these items. Hoverboards that are build with lithium batteries have been known to suddenly catch fire, resulting in devastating burn injuries and the deaths of several children. In fact, in May of this year, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a notice encouraging consumers to stop the purchase and use of LayZ Board self-balancing scooters (hoverboards) due to the tragic deaths of two girls.
According to Consumer Advocate Joan E. Siff of the watchdog group World Against Toys Causing Harm, Inc. (W.A.T.C.H.), “It is a tragedy when a child dies but when that death could have been prevented it’s inexcusable. The on-going injuries and deaths associated with hoverboards continue to be a wakeup call that products should be tested before they reach consumers and not tested on consumers.”
Beware the Small Parts
You’d think that children’s toy manufacturers would get it by now—little kids are going to put toys and their component parts in their mouths. So why, then, do these companies keep making products with tiny batteries and detachable parts, perfect for getting stuck in a child’s throat!? This year alone, a number of items have been recalled because of choking hazards, and many are due to the presence of small, removable parts that children can easily ingest. The Hobby Lobby Light Up Spinner Toy was recalled earlier this year because the battery was “concealed” by an easily removable battery cover, making the perfect choking hazard readily available to young kids playing with the toy. Similarly, the plush toy Chewie The English Bulldog was recalled this year not because of a dangerous battery, but because his small, marble-like eyes could easily detach and were the perfect temptation for children to put in their mouths.
Your Child is Not a Superhero
Summers feature a slew of superhero movies, and almost all of these have associated consumer products that are hocked on shelves to try and help bring in more money to the associated franchise. And while your kid may have loved Wonder Woman, the reality is they cannot safely wield a sword, even a toy, plastic sword, as safely as a Hollywood stunt double. The risk of blunt force trauma resulting from Battle-Action Swords and similar action movie themed weaponry is extremely high, and parents should keep toys that are made from hard, rigid materials away from their kids.
As a parent, you want to believe that everyone who is marketing items specifically to you/your children has your kids’ best interests at heart, but we all know that this is simply not the case. When corporate greed takes precedent over the well-being of children, it’s important that companies are held responsible for the unnecessary suffering their toys cause. At Chenkin Law Firm, we know that nothing will undo the suffering your child has already experienced if he or she has been injured by a dangerous toy, but we want to help you send a powerful message to toy designers and manufacturers that their inexcusable selfishness will not go unpunished. Call us today at (800) 721-7472 to learn more.