When parents buy their children toys, car seats, and strollers, etc, they are automatically assuming that these products have undergone major safety tests before being put on the shelves in the store. You would think so, right? Yes, but the reality of it is that manufacturers don’t always do thorough testing like they should leaving several different products to be sold with major defects. All products for consumers need to pass safety regulations and policies but children especially. Know common hazards that put child safety at risk.
Products for children should be made and manufactured with great care to make sure there are no defects. To ensure the safety of children, the products designed for them should come with proper instructions and safety warning labels in various languages. Failure to do so could result in a child with mild to serious injuries and even death.
Just as other manufacturers, toy manufacturers are required to produce toys that are supposed to be safe for children but what ends up happening is more and more parents are rushing their children to the ER over defective toys and products. Whether their child got choked on a small detachable piece, got burned, or strangled on a particular product, the manufacturers need to be held accountable for distributing unsafe toys and products.
Lead and Phthalates – Toxic Ingestion Hazards That Put Child Safety at Risk
Some of the largest toy and product recalls in the US were due to toys being made from toxic materials. The two biggest toxic materials that toys were made of was lead and phthalates.
There was a point where major toy manufacturers began recalling several toys made of lead and because of those recalls, doctors advised parents to have their children’s blood tested for lead levels. Doctors recommended this because, you know, kids put EVERYTHING in their mouth. The thing about lead poisoning is that it wasn’t something that happened immediately, it happened over the course of weeks and months of being exposed to toys and products containing lead. Children with lead poisoning might not have noticeable symptoms immediately but it was known to cause long-term brain damage by way of low IQ and developmental delays. An unborn child could even be at risk by the mother’s exposure to lead-based products, which can cause birthing issues.
Phthalates were the other toxic material toys and other child products were made of. If you’re unfamiliar with phthalates, phthalates are harmful toxic chemicals that were often used in creating products made of plastic to give them a more soft and smooth feel. The theory behind the chemicals sounds good at first glance… making products soft and smooth for children but what people didn’t realize about this hazardous chemical is that it actually causes several different health problems, especially in male children.
Things like hormonal imbalances, genital abnormalities, and other reproductive issues if a child is exposed to them for extensive periods of time. Some common child and infant products that have phthalates in them include:
- Bottle nipples
- Baby rattlers
- Talcum powder
- Teething rings
According to the National Center for Health Research, the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act was passed in 2008 where toys and products could only contain certain phthalates and banned other phthalates until they’re determined safe. This is what’s being done to limit children’s’ exposure to the chemical.
Choking hazards are some of the leading causes of death in children associated with children products and toys and the majority of deaths are linked to choking on things like balloons that aren’t inflater, small balls, and small magnets in toys. Even small buttons found on stuffed animals that make up the toy’s eyes and nose… when these parts come off the stuffed animal, they pose serious choking hazards.
There are so many strangulation hazards that children are at risk for. They can be anything from clothing to play equipment. Strangulation hazards come in two forms: ligature and suspension.
- Ligature Strangulation: This is strangulation by way of a cord or rope. A child can get caught up in the cord for blinds or in a certain kind of shirt that has drawstrings. This type of injury is found in younger children between one a two-years-old… that “curious age.”
- Suspension Strangulation: This is a form of strangulation when a child’s body is suspended above the ground. This type of strangulation is seen with cribs, playground equipment, and other furniture pieces. Suspension strangulation is also the most common and frequent form of strangulation accounting for more than half of infant fatalities.
Consult With an Experienced Product Liability Attorney Today
As parents, we do our best to protect our children from all hurt, harm, and danger but a defective toy or product is something we don’t have control over until the product has already harmed our child. If your child has suffered any type of injury from a faulty or defective product, you need to speak with a product liability attorney today.
You’ll be able to discuss your legal options and get the justice your child deserves for the pain and suffering they’ve experienced. Again, you buy your child these toys and products assuming they’ve undergone various safety measures and when that product causes harm, you have the right to hold that manufacturer liable.
Now that you are aware of the common hazards that put child safety at risk, you know the solution too.