Protecting Children from Defective and Unsafe Toys
Children’s toys are one of the most common types of Christmas presents. While children all over the world excitedly open Christmas presents, many parents have no idea what serious dangers may lurk beneath the Christmas tree.
Although there are federal regulations that govern children’s toy safety, many unsafe toys make it to store shelves. Most of the time these products only become subject to recall by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) after a child has already been injury by an unsafe product. Just last week, for example, baby rattles manufactured in China were recalled because they posed a choking hazard.
Stronger regulations have improved the safety of children’s toys with the number of recalls associated with toys dropping to 34 in the current fiscal year when compared to 172 in 2008. Despite these improvements, more than 180,000 kids under 15 still visited emergency rooms, and 17 kids were killed in toy related accidents last year. The issue of toy safety remains significant because the vast majority of toys are now imported from China, which does not have our safety standards or regulations. Many toy retailers presume that toys are safe and age appropriate because they are inspected when they are imported and would not be released to retailers if they were unsafe. This reasoning is flawed because only a negligible percentage of the billions of products that arrive at U.S. ports annually are actually inspected.
While some parents try to avoid the dangers associated with defective toys by sticking to name brand toy manufacturers like Mattel or Fisher Price, this strategy also falls short. Eighty percent of toys that are recalled are manufactured in China. Mattel was just fined $2.3 million in 2009 for importing and retailing toys with excessive quantities of lead. These two leading toy companies have had in excess of 21 million units of toys recalled since safety issues related to toys imported from China became a prominent issue in 2007. While the companies have had millions of toys recalled, they all have been imported from China. Mattel settled lawsuits related to these defective toys for $50 million.
Safety experts point out that parents are in a good position to make safety evaluations. They recommend parents carefully examine toys for small parts and choking hazards or other types of safety concerns. Another step parents can take to try to reduce the risk of having their child injured by an unsafe toy is to visit the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s website saferproducts.gov, which maintains a database of complaints that have been reported about various products.
If your child is injured by an unsafe product, the experienced Atlanta defective toy attorneys at Montlick and Associates offer zealous legal representation to victims of dangerous toys. Our Georgia defective toy attorneys are available to assist clients throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.