It’s that time of the year once again when most of us start our Christmas shopping. While this can be exciting, exhilarating and exhausting all at once, many of us don’t realize that some of the products we bring into our homes during the holidays can be downright dangerous. This is especially true of children’s toys, which are probably among the hottest selling items during Christmas.
Every year, the California Public Interest Research Group or CalPIRG and World Against Toys Causing Harm (WATCH) release a list of dangerous children’s toys to help consumers make purchasing decisions during the holidays. Although many of these dangerous and/or defective toys have been recalled, quite a few are still available online. Just in the last two years, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has recalled 44 toys. Sixteen of the recalled toys were still available online, CalPIRG found.
Some Toys to Avoid
A number of toys on both lists involve those that pose choking, suffocation, eye injury and other impact injury hazards to children. CalPIRG has urged consumers to steer clear of recalled toys such as the Sky Rover Aero Cruz Drone that has a faulty USB charger, the Green Tones Monkey Glockenspiel with lead paint and the Bud and Skip-it pull toy with loose tiny pieces. The group says one life-saving tip for parents is to take the toys apart and see if each piece can pass through a toilet paper roll. If it doesn’t, it’s too small and could pose a choking hazard.
Tips and Resources for Parents and Caregivers
There are several tips that parents and caregivers can take to protect children from potential hazards. Here are a few:
- Subscribe to email recall updates from CPSC and other government safety agencies, available through recalls.gov.
- Shop with U.S. PIRG Education Fund’s Toy Safety Tips, available at toysafetytips.org.
- Examine toys carefully for hazards before you buy them. Don’t trust that they are safe just because they are on a store shelf. Check the CPSC recall database at cpsc.gov before you buy toys online.
- Report unsafe toys or toy-related injuries to the CPSC at saferproducts.gov
- Put small parts, or toys broken into smaller parts out of children’s reach. Regularly check that the toys appropriate for your older children are not left within reach of younger children who still put things in their mouths.
If your child has been injured as the result of a dangerous or a defective toy, please contact an experienced product defect attorney to obtain more information about pursuing your rights.