Keep toy safety in mind this holiday season

This week millions of Americans will hit their local malls and shopping centers to start their Christmas shopping and hunt for great holiday deals. As you consider gift-giving for the children in your life, it is the perfect time to think about toy safety and how to make wise purchasing choices to keep your family happy and healthy this holiday season.

A few basic guidelines can help your entire family stay safe and prevent your child from being exposed to dangerous toys.

  • Avoid toys with small parts for children under the age of three – or even five. Small children love to put things in their mouths, which can be a choking hazard.
  • Don’t provide toys that are beyond a child’s age level. Your child may be interested in more advanced toys but the guidelines provided are designed to consider a child’s interest level and their safety.
  • Read all of the instructions to see if they raise any red flags that you should pay attention to.
  • Supervise your children properly during play to ensure they use toys safely.
  • Use any necessary safety equipment, such as helmets for bikes or scooters and guard rails for trampolines.

However, even the most careful parent may not be able to protect their child from a toy that is inherently dangerous or defective. Manufacturers or distributors of defective products may be held liable for injuries caused by those products. These claims can arise if the manufacturer knew of the danger or defect but failed to launch an adequate recall, if they failed to provide any necessary warnings or instructions, or if they improperly packaged a product in a way that could be dangerous.

Nothing can kill the Christmas spirit more quickly than a trip to the hospital. If you or a loved one has been injured by a defective product this holiday season, consider speaking with a personal injury attorney experienced in product liability matters. They can help you launch an investigation into the product, build a case and pursue any compensation to which you may be entitled for your injuries.

Source: USA Today, “Choose toys wisely for safe holiday play,” Darla Carter, Dec. 2, 2011

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