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A Holiday Gift Guide – Purchasing Safe Toys for Children

‘Tis the season of family gatherings, turkey dinners, and insane discounts during Black Friday sales – which is a great time to get a head start on purchasing gifts for the holidays! What better time to look around at toys for the kids in your life? However, gone are the days of being able to pick out a toy simply based on popularity – instead, consumers must have a keen eye for product warning labels, and factor in the child’s maturity before making a purchase. In the spirit of safety this year, we’re hoping to help our friends avoid purchasing toys that have already been deemed “unsafe”.

Every year, around this time, lists detailing the “Most Dangerous Toys of the Year” are released. This information comes to us based on product recalls and other known safety issues. These lists help consumers avoid situations like the Cabbage Patch Doll incident in the 1990s when the Snacktime Kid’s motorized mouth was capable of chomping on more than just the plastic snacks! While a few of the toys on these lists are just a common sense “bad idea”, some of them may surprise you! So, before you head out driving during the twilight hours of the morning this Friday, make sure to review these lists, to ensure you’re making an informed purchase.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission maintains an ongoing list of product recalls, broken down by category, and World Against Toys Causing Harm, inc. (W.A.T.C.H.) has nominated its picks for the “10 Worst Toys of 2013”. As with any product designed for kids, according to W.A.T.C.H., “parents and caregivers need to know what dangers to look for when they purchase toys for children this Holiday season and year-round.”

If you are planning to purchase a gift for a child, whether a family member, friend, or for a donation to charity, be sure to research the product to ensure it can be safely used by the intended age group. When picking out toys this holiday season, here are a few guidelines that may be beneficial:

  1. Look for sturdy construction, such as secured eyes and nose, and other potentially small parts.
  2. For all children under eight, avoid products with sharps edges and points (even if the product label says otherwise), and electric products with heating parts.
  3. Immediately discard plastic wrapping and pins – these items can cause suffocation.
  4. Always read the product warning labels and instructions, and only use the product as directed.
  5. Be careful when buying toys for the crib, ensuring that hanging toys are kept short and are firmly secure. Crib toys should be removed as soon as the child is able to push up on hands or knees.

If you have questions about defective or dangerous products, please contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at the Bendinelli Law Firm for a free and confidential consultation today. We’ll help you get the help you need.