Halloween and the holidays are fast approaching. Many kids look forward to this time of year because they receive gifts, which often take the form of new toys. While a new product is exciting for a child, parents need to be aware of the fact that toys can sometimes be dangerous. Any time a new product is brought into the home, parents should check it carefully to ensure that it is age appropriate and it does not contain choking hazards for small children.
A personal injury lawyer knows that some toys can also seem safe but actually contain elevated levels of lead or other unexpected dangers. When a toy comes onto the market that presents risks to children, the toy should be recalled. The manufacturer or seller could also be held responsible for any injuries or illnesses that result from the defective toy.
Defective Toys Could Endanger Portland Children
The Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) works to prevent dangerous toys from ever getting to U.S. shelves to be sold to kids. One of their initiatives has been to require that all toys to be sold in the U.S. are tested at independent third party laboratories, no matter where the toys are manufactured. Toys are tested for lead and other hazards that could put kids at risk of illness or injury.
If a toy either is untested or does not pass adequate testing, it should be kept out of the country. U.S. customs has worked with the CPSC to block a full 9.8 million units of defective toys from being able to enter the United States over the past five years. These blocked units represent more than 3,000 different kinds of toys that could have presented a danger to kids if they hadn’t been stopped.
Despite the success of CPSC and customs at keeping these toys out, some dangerous products still manage to make it to the market. When this occurs and the problem is identified later, the toys need to be recalled. In 2013, a total of 31 toy recalls occurred in the United States, which was significantly fewer than the 172 toys recalled in 2008. In 2008, 19 recalls were prompted by lead concerns, which hopefully should be avoided with the CPSC testing requirements.
Since recalls don’t occur until a toy is already on the market, there is an unfortunate chance that kids will be made sick or get injured before the problem product is identified. In 2010, a total of 19 children lost their lives because of defective toys. In 2011, there were 17 fatalities among kids because of problems with toys. The data has not yet been fully compiled for 2012, but a total of 11 fatalities have been identified already due to toy problems. It is likely that this number will be higher once all of the data is in.
Parents need to be aware of the risks of dangerous toys as their children receive presents for Halloween and for other winter holidays. It is advisable for parents to regularly check the website of the Consumer Product Safety Commission to determine if any of the toys that their kids are playing with have been subject to a recall.
Portland accident victims should contact Zbinden & Curtis, Attorneys at Law, by calling 1-503-287-5000 or visiting http://www.zbinden-curtis.com. Serving Portland, Bellmont, Sellwood and surrounding suburbs.