With the Christmas season in full swing, we’re all looking forward to the holidays with anticipation. In all of this excitement though, it’s easy to forget about toy safety and keeping our kids injury free.
Many of us here in the firm are parents – even grandparents in fact – and take toy safety quite seriously, especially during the holiday season. Over 3 billion toys are sold annually in the U.S. – 60% of those sales occur during this time of year.
Over the year, we see many toy recalls issued for a wide range of hazards, including:
And in our firm, we do see the occasional case of a child being injured by a defective or dangerous toy.
Taking a few easy steps though can prevent your holiday from becoming a trip to the emergency room.
First, only buy toys suitable for the child’s age, abilities and skills. For example, it wouldn’t be a good idea to buy Legos for a toddler since they can pose a choking hazard. Toys with small parts in fact shouldn’t be given to children under 3.
Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper assembly and use as well. Even if something happens and you have to pursue a defective product claim, the manufacturer will likely first claim you weren’t following the instructions and therefore, deny liability.
And for certain toys like bicycles, roller skates and scooters, you need to have additional safety equipment for your kid. Helmets, knee pads and other items to prevent scrapes and head injuries are important. Bicycle helmets in fact are required for anyone under age 16 in Tennessee.
Other toy hazards to be on the lookout for include:
- Sharp edges and points
- Tiny parts
- Loud noises
- Projectiles, or anything that can be propelled
- Electric toys that can burn or shock
Taking a few precautionary steps can ensure your children stay safe this holiday season. Christmas is supposed to be a special time of year. Don’t let your child be one of the approximately 150,000 accidents from toys that occur each year according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
In closing, all of us at Gilreath Law wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
We look forward to bringing personal injury, medical malpractice and other Tennessee legal news/updates to you in 2012.