This holiday season, it is important that parents and gift givers stay abreast of what types of toys are considered safe for children. While the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has had to issue fewer toy recalls this year, there are still many potentially dangerous toys on store shelves. According to a recent news release by the CPSC, there are approximately 180,000 child injuries suffered in toy-related accidents each year. Many of these incidents can be prevented if parents are diligent in keeping unsafe toys away from their children.
In the fiscal year for 2011, there were 34 toy recalls in the United States. This number reflects a decrease from the 46 recalls in 2010, the 50 recalls in 2009 and the 172 toys recalls issued in 2008. CPSC’s statistics also show that there was a recent increase in toy-related fatalities – from 15 deaths in 2009 to 17 in 2010. More than half of those deaths involved choking incidents with balloons, rubber balls, and small balls.
Federal safety regulations that were passed last year limit the amount of toxins such as lead and cadmium that can be present in toys. However, this does not mean that all toys are now toxin-free. On the contrary, a number of toys in the market still have unacceptable levels of phthalates, which are industrial chemicals that are known carcinogens.
Parents would be well advised this Christmas to monitor the official CPSC website for recent recall notices and to follow the age recommendations on the side of the box. It’s always a good idea to keep small parts and items away from young children.
The product liability attorneys in New Jersey at Lependorf & Silverstein hope you and yours have a safe and happy holiday season. If someone you love has been injured by a defective toy or dangerous product, please contact our law offices at (609) 240-0040 for a free consultation and comprehensive case evaluation.