What to Know When Toy Shopping This Holiday Season

by NPHM | December 9th, 2019

Whether shopping for Christmas, Hanukkah, a winter birthday, or another special occasion for a child in your life, December is the best time of year to score great deals on toys. However, if you don’t shop smart, you may end up with a toy that has the potential to spread more harm than joy.

Good Manufacturing Practice refers to the guidelines set by regulatory agencies that require product manufacturers to consistently meet quality standards across all stages of production. When toy manufacturers fail to uphold Good Manufacturing Practice, they risk putting defective products on shelves that have the potential to seriously injure the children who play with them.

What Makes a Toy Defective or Dangerous?

There are endless ways in which defective toys can harm children, especially toddlers and infants. The most common ways that toys can injure children include:

  • Small pieces or loose parts may fall off and can pose a choking hazard to small children
  • Batteries may overheat and explode or cause burns
  • Fragile parts may snap off, leaving a sharp edge that can cut children
  • Materials may fail to meet federal flammability standards
  • Toy guns, catapults, and other toys that shoot or launch objects into the air can cause injuries
  • Parts can trap children’s fingers or hair
  • Toys with strings such as yo-yos or plastic jewelry may be a strangulation risk
  • Ride-on toys may cause children to fall off or fall under them

What Toys Have Been Recalled in 2019?

Toys in the United States have been steadily becoming safer over the last decade. In 2008, the Consumer Product Safety Council (CPSC) recalled 172 toys, but in 2018, only 18 toys were recalled. However, children can still get hurt before the danger is recognized and a recall is issued.

Parents can find a complete list of all products that have been recalled, including children’s toys and other products intended for children, by visiting the CPSC website.

Examples of toys that have been recalled already this year include:

  • Fisher-Price Power Wheels Barbie Dream Camper: recalled in February because it can continue to run after the foot pedal is released.

  • Bulk Unlimited Little Experimenter Children’s Globe: recalled in March because the internal wires can short out and cause a fire.

  • Target Bullseye’s Playground Wooden Toy Vehicles: recalled in April because the wheels can fall off and pose a choking hazard.

  • Disney Toy Story 4 “Forky” Plush: recalled in July because the googly eyes can fall off and pose a choking hazard.

  • Crate and Barrel Activity Push Walker: recalled in August because parts can break off, posing laceration and choking hazards.

  • Super Jumper 14” Trampoline: recalled in August because the metal legs can snap.

Tips on How to Select Safe Toys

When buying toys for a child in your life, make sure to keep in mind the ability of the child to play with and understand how to use the toy. Don’t buy a toy for a child who is too young to use it properly and safely.

Many toy manufacturers include a recommended age range for their products, which can typically be found on the packaging. You should also carefully read any warning label that may be included with the toy before allowing your child to play with it.

Other tips include:

  • For fabric toys, select toys that are machine-washable, flame-retardant, and have firm stitching that is unlikely to tear
  • For plastic toys, select toys made of thick plastic that is unlikely to crack
  • For painted toys, check that the toy does not use lead-based paint
  • For art toys, check that all materials are non-toxic
  • For electric toys, check for a label stating the toy is UL approved

What to Do With an Unsafe Toy

If your child is injured by a toy, make sure to report the toy to the CPSC and contact a product injury lawyer right away. The Ohio defective product lawyers at Nurenberg Paris know how to build claims against major manufacturers when they fail to uphold Good Manufacturer Practice and put your child’s safety at risk.

By holding manufacturers accountable for the harm they cause, we can help keep other children safe as well. Defective product lawsuits help improve safety laws and make all manufacturers live up to a higher standard of quality.

When you hire us, we can help you get compensation for your child’s medical expenses and your family’s pain and suffering after an injury from a toy that should have been safe to play with. You pay us nothing unless we get you money, not even to consult with us about your claim. Contact our firm today to speak with a defective product attorney.