Child Choking Hazards Are Everywhere in Your Home
Age-appropriate toys are a vital part of every little one’s growth and learning process. While children at play appear to just be having fun, the use of toys helps them develop important motor, reasoning, and creative skills. Unfortunately, inappropriate use of toys can lead to injury or death, most often in the form of choking on small parts. While it’s possible for a child to choke on just about anything, especially bite-sized foods, the vast majority of child choking hazards for children under the age of 3 come in the form of small parts of toys.
Choking hazards can come in very obvious forms, but you may be surprised to find that other unexpected hazards may be present in your home. A balloon, for example, can easily be inhaled if a child is attempting to blow it up and the material can block the child’s airway. Another surprising hazard is the filling in so-called “bean bag” furniture and toys, which are common in a child’s room or play area. Children are naturally curious about what’s inside, and a small rip or leak may lead to the discovery and inhalation of the foam pellets that make up the filling. Other hidden dangers include forgotten toys that are left on the floor, stuffed under a couch cushion, as well as batteries and magnets.
Warnings of a Serious Upswing in Bounce House Injuries
Every spring and summer you see them poking up over the edge of the fence in someone’s backyard, and you know there’s probably a birthday party going on. Some lucky little one is having a party with a bounce house. Or maybe it’s a carnival or a fair, and children are bouncing around in their sock feet having a great time. It’s no secret that they’re a lot of fun, but like a lot of things that are really fun, there is also an element of risk and bounce house injuries in particular are rising dramatically.
It’s important to be very careful with any kind of playground equipment, and bounce houses are no exception. Injuries range from arm and leg fractures to more serious head and neck trauma, and according to a study by the American Academy of Pediatrics overall injuries increased 15-fold between 1995 and 2010. These sometimes lead to hospitalization or, worse, paralysis or death. While it’s unrealistic and alarmist to call for a ban on bounce houses, caution must be exercised when operating or allowing your kids to play in one.
Seek Legal Advice Early for a Defective Product Injury
Consumers are injured by defective products every day. While these events are unfortunate, they’re often made even worse when the injured party does not notify the manufacturer of the defect in a timely manner. This not only jeopardizes the validity of any claim you may have against the manufacturer and other responsible parties, but it has the additional downside of allowing the unreported defect to potentially injure other unsuspecting individuals. This is why it is critical that a defective product be brought to the attention of the manufacturer as quickly as possible.
A product liability action may be brought against a product manufacturer and/or reseller for a number of reasons. They can include, but are not limited to, the following:
Learning Disabilities, Developmental Issues, and Brain Injury
Consumers have long been aware of the dangers of lead in toys and household items. Laws restricting lead use in items manufactured for children have lowered parental concern about safety issues. Even cheap children’s jewelry and toys are thought to be safer in recent years, but in many instances, lead has been replaced by cadmium in these products.
Cadmium is a toxic metal that holds the number seven slot in hazardous materials ranked by the United States Center for Disease Control. Tests show many of the toys manufactured in China over the past several years contain dangerous levels of cadmium, but Chinese factories may not be alone in their use of the metal. Personal injury attorneys in California, and around the country, are beginning to take note of this issue as strong evidence points to some of these products as causing developmental issues, learning disabilities and brain injury in children.
Associated Press Investigations in Product Liability
In 2010, the Associated Press conducted tests on a variety of jewelry and toys. Over one hundred items were purchased from retailers throughout California, Texas, Ohio and New York. Testing indicated that many of the items contained unsafe levels of cadmium. Cadmium levels as high as 80 to 90 percent appeared in a variety of bracelets and other jewelry for girls. The AP findings sparked a number of recalls based on elevated levels of cadmium.
Toy manufacturer UJ Trading recently issued a recall of its Danbar Knight Hawk toy helicopters due to a fire hazard, making them too dangerous for children to play with safely, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).
The recall includes the Knight Hawk remote-control helicopters with the model number “006047” on the back of the controller. The helicopters themselves are marked “AH-64” and “helicopter.” They were sold in toy stores, at mall kiosks, and online from April 2010 to April 2011 and cost about $36.00 each.
The recall of the helicopters was issued because the battery housing, which is underneath the canopy on the helicopter, may overheat while the battery is recharging. The heat may be enough to start a fire, although UJ Trading has not received reports of injuries or fires caused by the toy.
Consumers who have purchased the recalled toys can contact UJ Trading for a return label, as well as a full refund. The company’s toll-free number is 800-536-2691, and its website is located at http://www.UJToys.com.
When it comes to safety, children’s toys must be held to a high standard. While a manufacturing or design defect may not affect an adult, a child can suffer serious injuries if a toy is found to be dangerous. Children are often very curious about the look, feel, sound, or taste of the parts of their toys, but their youth and inexperience may prevent them from recognizing defective or dangerous conditions. If your child has been injured by a defective toy, please don’t hesitate to contact the experienced California unsafe toy injury attorneys at The Mandell Law Firm. To learn more, call us at 818-866-6600 for a free and confidential case evaluation today.
Near the end of October, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) released new research about cadmium, in order to assist with setting limits for cadmium in children’s toys and other products, according to The Chicago Tribune. Cadmium is a soft metal that can damage kidneys, lungs and bones, although small amounts can be ingested through food.
ASTM International is the organization that set standards for manufacturing, although any standards it sets for children’s jewelry are voluntary. The CPSC has for months promised that it was working on research on the use of cadmium in children’s products. Concerns about cadmium in toys have been raised in recent months after high levels were found in various kids’ jewelry products, and McDonald’s recalled 12 million Shrek cups that contained cadmium.
According to the CPSC, the acceptable daily intake levels of cadmium range from 0.1 micrograms to 11 micrograms per kilogram of body weight per day. The toy committee at ASTM is planning to discuss a new standard for cadmium sometime in November, but it could take six to twelve months for a new standard to be issued. Under the new recommendations, McDonald’s would not have been required to recall the Shrek cups.
Toy manufacturers have a duty to parents to protect their children from dangerous products. If you believe you or a loved one have been injured by a defective product or toy, contact the San Fernando Valley unsafe toy attorneys at the Mandell Law Firm at 818-886-6600. We will analyze your injury claim during your free consultation, and help you to decide the best course of action in your case.
Fisher Price recently announced the biggest toy recall of the year, according to CBS News. The company is recalling 10.1 million dangerous toys and high chairs.
The recall includes 7.15 million tricycles, 2.9 million baby toys, 1 million high chairs, and 120,000 toy cars and ramps. Some of the injuries that have been incurred by those playing with the toys include choking and cuts. Some injuries were caused by a tricycle’s protruding key. The high chairs have pegs on the rear legs that have injured seven children. The cars, ramps and infant toys have parts that can pose a choking hazard. No deaths have been reported from the unsafe toys.
The Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) says this recall should serve as a warning that it will be very diligent in examining products for children in order to ensure children will not be injured by those products. Fisher Price says it will provide replacement kits for its recalled products. If you own one of the defective child products, stop using it and call the manufacturer for a replacement kit and more information.
It is the responsibility of toy manufacturers to create safe products, which are properly designed, labeled and manufactured. Negligent toy manufacturers must be held liable for injuries caused by their defective products. If you or a loved one has been injured by a defective toy, contact the Mandell Law Firm. Our skilled San Fernando Valley child toy injury attorneys will help you recover compensation for your injuries. Call us today at 818-886-6600 for a free evaluation of the merits of your case.
On January 20, 2010, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced the recall of 1.5 million Graco Children’s Products strollers after several reports of stroller hinges severing children’s fingertips. According to a report by the CPSC, the hinges on the canopy of the stroller have the potential to cause lacerations when opened or closed. There have been five reports of severed fingertips and two of fingertips being cut.
The Graco strollers were sold at major retailers including WalMart, Toys R Us and Target from October 2004 to December 2009. Consumers who own Graco Children’s Products strollers are advised to stop using the product immediately.
“It is long past time to re-evaluate our consumer safety procedures and make the needed improvements,” stated a CPSC representative.
This is the second major stroller recall in recent months. In November, the CPSC recalled one million strollers made by Maclaren USA Inc after similar incidents of hinges severing fingers. Following these two recalls, the CPSC stated that it would conduct a comprehensive review of all children’s strollers.
Toy and product defects can cause serious harm to children. The manufacturers of defective products are responsible for alerting consumers if there are any dangers associated with the use of their products. If an unsafe product has injured your child, you may be eligible to recover medical expenses and other financial losses incurred. Contact the San Fernando Valley product liability attorneys at the Mandell Law Firm for a free and confidential consultation. Our attorneys provide care and commitment for victims of accidents or wrongful death resulting from dangerous and recalled products as well as all other product liability cases.
In August 2008, Congress passed the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA), which expanded the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s (CPSC) budget as well as allotting the commission more tools to prosecute corporations, speed recalls and progress the banning of lead and phthalates in products. Despite these new laws, there are still plenty of toys on the market that are unsafe and may pose a threat to young children.
In the California Public Interest Research Group’s (CALPIRG) 24th Annual Trouble in Toyland Report, several toy cell phones were reported to emit sounds loud enough to cause hearing loss or impairment in young children. Even though toys containing the toxic chemicals lead and phthalate were restricted this year, a few toys slipped through the cracks. Lead is a potent neurotoxin that can lower children’s IQs as well as set the stage for a variety of other health problems. The negative health effects of phthalates are also severe.
A pre-school book available in stores had 20 times the legal level of lead. Another hazard is jewelry that also contains high levels of lead. This year alone, the CPSC has recalled 1.3 million toys due to violations of the lead paint standard.
These product defects can cause serious harm to children and even death. If an unsafe toy has injured your child, you may be able to recover medical expenses and other financial losses caused by the unsafe toy incident. Call the Mandell Law Firm at (818) 886-6600 for a free and comprehensive consultation with one of our experienced San Fernando Valley product liability attorneys.