The holiday season approaches, and the shopping has already begun — but parents need to be careful what they’re putting under the tree.
Every holiday season, a new crop of dangerous and defective toys comes to light. You need to know how to keep your loved ones safe.
Where can you find out which toys to avoid?
The internet is a powerful tool when it comes to keeping people safe from defective products. Before you fill your child’s wish list, head over to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission website to look for recalls on any items.
You shouldn’t stop there, however. You may also want to do a quick search under “news” to see if there are any injuries or deaths being attributed to a specific item. A lot of major news outlets put out warnings about toys that are still on the market but known to have problems.
Finally, look at the online reviews of a toy before you buy it. If previous buyers complain that a toy is prone to losing parts, overheats or has other signs of trouble, steer clear.
What other things should you keep in mind when buying toys?
In general, experts recommend that you keep a few important restrictions in mind when shopping:
- Use the “toilet paper roll” test: If there are any parts on a toy that can easily slip inside a toilet paper roll if they come loose, it poses a choking hazard to young children.
- Skip the stuffies with accessories: Too many of those accessory items can get swallowed if you have a child who is 3 years old or under in the house.
- Don’t buy toys with high-powered magnets. Experts say that these should never be included in kids’ toys in the first place.
- Avoid extremely loud toys. That firetruck may look great, but the siren might be dangerous to your child’s hearing.
Despite your best efforts, a defective product may still end up among the holiday gifts. If your child or someone else is hurt, it is wise to speak with an experienced attorney. Serious injuries deserve serious compensation, but you can’t expect the manufacturers and distributors of unsafe products to accept liability unless they’re held accountable.