Children’s toys can be anything but child’s play and there are a number of toys that present significant health and safety risks. These risks can range from burns and cuts to broken bones and toxic exposures. In 2014, roughly 155,400 children under the age of 14 were treated in hospital emergency rooms for injuries caused by their toys. Approximately half of those injured were under the age of 4 years old.
In 2015, 64% of childhood toy-related fatalities were due to choking. Choking hazards can occur when parts dislodge from toys during play or when small items such as plastic guns, beads, or other accessories are swallowed. Those at greatest risk of choking are under the age of 3 years old. Toys which were most responsible for choking hazards included the My Snuggly Ellie, Lattjo Tongue Drums, and Lattjo Drumstick Set, as well as the Bud and Skipit Wheely Cute Pull Toys. Some of the most notable choking hazards come from magnetic toys such as “buckyballs.” These toys are small and easily digested individually. When a child consumes more than one, the toys can lodge in the esophagus or intestine and cause considerable personal injuries.
Dangerous toys include those that can cause toxic exposures. Contact with phthalates, xylene, and other chemicals used to manufacture toys can cause skin irritations, burns, and respiratory problems. Toxic toys include the Cra-Z Jewelz Gem Creations, Green Tones Monkey Glockenspiel, and Avengers and Darth Vader Themed Water Bottles. These toys violate lead safety standards as the paint used to coat the toys can easily be scraped off and ingested by a child.
Toys can also easily damage a child’s hearing. Excessive exposure to high decibel dings, rings, and other sounds can cause permanent hearing damage that may not become apparent until after the damage has already been done. Toys including the WWE 3-Count Crushers, Road Rippers Rush and Rescue Fire Engine, and My First Tonka Wobble Wheels Cars are toys that are known to produce over 100 decibels during use.
A personal injury lawyer in Chicago can help parents pursue compensation for their child’s personal injuries. Depending on the circumstances, toy manufacturers, distributors, and retailers may be liable for the injuries the toy has caused. These injuries might include burns from fires, toxic exposure, hearing loss, or broken bones caused by falls from scooters, trampolines, etc.