It has only been a few weeks since Christmas and Hanukkah but already, some of those must-have toys are beginning to show their wear. Most parents and grandparents who buy toys for children on the holidays do not expect the plastic products to become family heirlooms. However, at the very least, consumers expect the products to be safe for children to use for a while. Unfortunately, many popular toys and gadgets given as gifts are defective and present a safety risk for children.
Toy Recall Statistics
The good news for parents is that toys appear to be getting safer over time. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), there were only 12 toys recalled by CPSC in 2019. In 2008, the number of toy recalls was 172. Toy recalls in the past few years amounted to:
- 2019 – 12
- 2018 – 18
- 2017 – 28
- 2016 – 24
- 2015 – 25
- 2014 – 33
Back in 2008, 19 of the toys recalled were recalled involving lead. In 2019, only 1 of the toy recalls involved lead.
Even though there were fewer toy recalls, defective toys still represent a serious risk to children. In 2018, there were 166,200 toy-related emergency department injuries and 17 deaths. The majority of fatal toy accidents involved riding toys and choking hazards.
Toy Hazards and Recalls
There are a number of possible defects in children’s toys, including toxic paints, flammable materials, and choking hazards. Some common types of children’s toys that may be defective include:
- Plastic trucks
- Building blocks
- Sports equipment
- Toys with rechargeable batteries
Just in October, more than 162,000 Skate & Scoot Combo scooters were recalled because of a fall hazard. The Jakks Pacific scooters had a handlebar joint that could break, increasing the risk of a fall accident.
In August, Hasbro recalled more than 52,000 Super Soaker water guns. The water blaster toys had a decorative sticker that contained levels of lead that exceed the federal lead content ban. Lead poses a toxic risk to children.
In 2016, more than 50,000 Babies’R’Us pacifier clips were recalled. The pacifier clips had a faulty spring mechanism that could break and release small parts, posing a choking hazard. Over 90,000 baby builder sets were recalled the same year because the small parts could detach, posing a choking hazard to young children.
Even Happy Meal toys have been linked to injuries. In 2016, 29 million “Step-It” activity wristbands were recalled by McDonald’s. The wristbands could cause burns and skin irritation.
Hearing Damage Toy Risks
Most parents do not think about the risks associated with very noisy toys. According to the U.S. Public Interest Research Group Education Fund (USPIRG), excessively noisy toys can cause permanent damage to children’s hearing. Parents may be able to lower the risk of hearing damage by lowering the volume, taking out batteries, or placing tape over the speakers to muffle the sound.
Product Defect Lawyers
Toy manufacturers, producers, distributors, and sellers have a responsibility to make sure their products are safe for their intended use. If a product is defective because of a manufacturing defect, design defect, or failure to warn, the injury victim can seek compensation in a product liability claim.
If your child was injured because of a defective product, contact the personal injury lawyers at Gilman & Bedigian. Contact Gilman & Bedigian online to get started on your case.