Are Your Children’s Toys Safe?
Toy safety has been a growing concern over the last few decades, as more and more stories hit the news about unsafe paint, materials, and designs that can harm children. While nothing in life is guaranteed to be safe, responsible manufacturers have a duty to produce products that children can enjoy without harm.
There are government agencies in place to protect your child from dangerous toys, but ultimately, you are the last line of defense to ensure their health and well-being.
Few things can match the beauty of seeing the joy on your child’s face when he or she opens up a package and find a new toy. It is an experience that can be easily marred by unsafe products that are not properly tested or marketed. In New Jersey, the Division of Consumer Affairs handles toy safety. Here’s what they have to say:
- Avoid toys that have parts that can be shot or propelled.
- Avoid toys that make loud noises.
- Avoid toys with strings or ribbons longer than six inches.
- Avoid toys with sharp edges.
In addition, remember that there are labels on toys. Read them, and consider your own child’s abilities. When in doubt, don’t buy that toy.
Gifts Are Precious, So Choose Wisely
Toys, games, and puzzles are all labeled with the intended age of the child who should be playing with them. Any toys that have small parts should be clearly marked as being appropriate only for older children, who are unlikely to try to swallow them. If you encounter a toy that does not have an age range indicated, then you should consider it generally unsafe (as it might not have been properly tested or labeled for use in the U.S.).
You also want to look at the materials a toy is made from whenever possible. Metal toys can be heavy for small children, potentially pinching fingers or crashing down on toes. While such toys were common in the past, and nostalgia has a way of making us remember all the fun we had with them, injuries to children were also quite common. Consider visiting forums and message boards for parents, which are likely to display warnings from one parent to another about potentially unsafe toys or concerns about materials used to make or paint a toy. (This 2015 article has some useful information.)
It is the responsibility of toy manufacturers to make sure their products are safe for children. If your child has been injured or become sick due to playing with a toy, then call the experienced product liability lawyers of Lependorf & Silverstein, P.C., at (609) 240-0040 to talk about your case and discuss your options.
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