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Maine Injury Watch: Holiday Toys Present Dangers to Kids

The holiday season is a time when kids are very excited to receive presents from friends and family members. Many of those presents are toys. Unfortunately, with an influx of new products coming into your home during the holiday season, there is always a risk that some of those toys may be dangerous.

The same holds true for clothing, cribs, highchairs and other items marketed for use by children.

In fact, although the U. . Consumer Product Safety Commission indicates that toy recalls and toy-related fatalities are down, they also report that toy related injuries are up. The 27th annual Trouble in Toyland Survey also reveals some dangerous items on the shelves this holiday season. 1107819_toys_.jpg

As you do your shopping, our Portland personal injury attorneys urge you to exercise caution in making sure you keep dangerous toys out of your home. We also advise all parents to monitor new toys by supervising play, ensuring the toys are age appropriate, and checking the list of toy recalls to find out if any potential risks dangers exist.

How Dangerous Are Toys This Holiday Season?
According to the U. . Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), toys have become safer in recent years, in large part thanks to broad enforcement efforts and tougher mandatory standards that limit lead paint and other hazards in toys.

The U. . Consumer Product Safety Commission provides some statistics on the number of toy-related fatalities and toy recalls to show the success of safety efforts. According to CPSC:s

  • Recalls of toys fell from 172 in 2008 to only 50 recalls in 2009.
  • Recalls fell further in 2010, down to just 44 toy recalls.
  • Fatalities fell to 15 toy-related deaths in 2009, down from 24 fatalities in 2007 and 2008.

While these statistics show that toy safety is moving in the right direction, there is still some cause for concern. CPSC indicates, for example, that the number of toy-related injuries necessitating a visit to the ER has increased in recent years. However, CPSC suggests that these increased ER visits don’t necessarily indicate that toys are more dangerous. Instead, they report that many of these injuries were associated with kids playing with toys but they did not actually result from any problem, danger or defect in the toy itself.

Some Toys Still Present a Risk
Despite some good news from CPSC, not every toy that you bring home comes without risk. According to Portland News 8, the Public Interest Research Group’s 27th annual Trouble in Toyland survey still identified some dangerous products on the shelves.

In conducting the Trouble in Toyland survey, researchers visited stores to examine toys and test for dangers. Some of the potential problems they found included:

  • Toys with noise levels that were too loud for too long, exceeding the 65 decibel limit for continuous noise.
  • Toys that had magnets that could be ingested too easily.
  • Toys that presented a choking risk due to their small parts and that didn’t properly warn parents of the dangers to young children.

Parents need to be aware that these and other hazards exist whenever a new toy is brought into the home. Parents should make sure toys are age appropriate and should routinely check the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)’s Recalls and Product Safety News for updates on recalled and dangerous toy products.

If you are the victim of a Portland toy accident, contact us at 1-800-490-5218 or read more on our website.

Additional Resources:
Portland Injury Attorneys Wishing You a Safe Thanksgiving, Maine Injury Lawyer Blog, November 19, 2012.