New Report Reveals Toy-Related Injuries to Children on the Rise
With the holidays approaching, parents are busy selecting the perfect gift for their kids. Children often are overcome with anticipation as they wait to unwrap their most coveted toys. However, laughter and glee can quickly turn to tears when products designed for children are unsafe or proper safety equipment does not accompany the toy.
Parents should be aware that the number of incidents involving child injuries caused by toys has risen significantly during the last twenty years. Nationwide Children’s Hospital reports that toy-related injuries have increased by approximately forty percent during this period. Wheeled toys like scooters, tricycles, bikes and wagons account for 42 percent of these injuries to kids between the ages of 5 and 17. This type of toy also accounts for 28 percent of toy-related injuries to kids under the age of five.
Doctors have identified scooters as the most common cause of injuries to children according to the report. Scooters accounted for 580,000 injuries between 2000 and 2011. The surge in scooter injuries is attributed to a boom in sales and failure to utilize proper safety equipment. Another study published in Clinical Pediatrics found that the risk of injuries from foot propelled scooters, bikes and similar toys increases as kids get older.
Although “ride-on toys” account for a disproportionate number of toy-related injuries to kids, there also are many other hazards that send kids to the emergency room. Approximately 3.3 million children visited emergency rooms for toy-related injuries during the two decade period considered by the researchers. This high number of injuries breaks down to about one every three minutes.
Choking hazards are another common threat to the safety of children when they receive new toys as gifts. Because young children are most at-risk for choking on toys, parents are advised by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission to carefully read all warnings and age recommendations on the packaging of toys. Parents also should be aware that young children often suffer choking injuries when they play with an older sibling’s toy that has small parts.
If your child is injured by a defective toy, you may have a right to pursue legal compensation based on product liability law and other relevant legal theories. While many toys sold in U.S. toy stores are imported from foreign countries, the American retailer can be liable along with the businesses that manufactured and distributed the defective product. Cases against companies that are located in a distant state or outside the country can raise complex jurisdictional issues, so we invite you to talk to an experienced Atlanta product defect lawyer at Montlick and Associates.
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