The holidays have passed, but the danger posed by children's toys has not. Every year in the U.S., millions of children receive presents for Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and other celebrations. Unfortunately, some children will suffer injuries due to dangerous toys or other products. Recently, the consumer watchdog group U.S. PIRG released its annual guide of potentially hazardous children's toys. Did your child receive something on the list?
Common hazards and dangerous toys
U.S. PIRG identified several common problems in children's toys, including:
- The chemical boron, which can pose health risks to children when ingested, was present in many toys.
- Numerous toys and games have small parts that can block children's breathing and airways.
- Toys manufactured in foreign countries where safety standards are lower can still contain lead.
- Some toys that collect user data, include cameras and connect to the internet can violate children's privacy.
On the list of the most dangerous toys of 2018 were:
- L.O.L. Surprise
- Small balls, particularly Buckyballs
- Amazon Fire HD Kids Edition
- Dash, by Wonder Workshop
Dash and Amazon Fire HD Kids Edition collect children's data and sell the information to third parties. Hatchimals, L.O.L. Surprise toys and Buckyballs contain small parts that pose choking hazards. But the most hazardous toys of all are commonplace balloons, which children can choke on when attempting to inflate them.
What to do if your child is injured
It is every parent's worst nightmare for their child to suffer a serious injury. If your son or daughter is injured by a toy, the first step is to seek medical attention immediately. You should also document the incident by taking photos of the toy and the area where your child was playing. If there were any witnesses to the accident, get their contact information. You may need to contact an attorney to assist you with the process of filing a legal claim and obtaining compensation.
Protecting children in the future
Fortunately, parents do have the power to make toys safer for children. Parents can lobby to increase toy safety standards, establish consumer protections and improve the efficacy of recalls. Parents can also take legal action by filing a lawsuit if their child is injured by a dangerous or defective toy. This not only holds the negligent party accountable, but can also lead to compensation that can help your child move forward in life.