Articles Posted in Unsafe Toys

Larry E. Coben, an attorney at the personal injury law firm Anapol Weiss, was on KYW 1060 to discuss toy safety, an important topic during the holiday season. Toys are a major part of holiday gift-giving, but it isn’t always fun and games with toys if parents aren’t careful and aware of the dangers toys can pose to their children.

Mr. Coben’s rule of thumb regarding toy safety is that parents should always assume that the toys they purchase for their children will be used in the most dangerous way possible. This includes, but isn’t limited to, a child swallowing the toy or parts of the toy. Also, parents should always expect the worse with a toy, which can help them decide what toy is and what toy isn’t appropriate for their child to play with.

Mr. Coben also recommends that parents check the website of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) before doing any shopping for children to see if any toys or other child products have recently been recalled. When shopping, he cautions parents to read the age-range label that is listed on all toys, but warns parents that it’s just a guess by the manufacturer, not a standard in place by the government on what is truly appropriate for a child. Parents should also be aware that while they may purchase one toy for a certain child, children share. It is very likely the toy will be used by many children, even if the toy is not appropriate for them.

A new report recently released by the American Association for Justice (AAJ) entitled, “Playing with Safety: Dangerous Toys and the Role of America’s Civil Justice System,” highlights some dangers that are hidden in popular toys today that consumers may not be aware of. Despite rigorous safety standards, which were recently improved, there are still unforeseen toy hazards. The AAJ makes the case that these hazards show there is a strong necessity for a civil justice system to protect children and hold negligent toy manufacturers liable.

The full report can be viewed at www.justice.org/toys.

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), there have been over 850 toy product recalls since 1974. Many of these recalls were due to the presence of lead, magnets, and other hazards that were hidden in children’s toys. Toy-related injuries rose by 12 percent between 2004 and 2008. Alarmingly, these injuries have risen by a shocking 54 percent over the past 10 years.

Recently, one of the attorneys at Anapol Weiss was featured on Philadelphia Fox 29 to discuss the importance of toy safety and holiday shopping for parents. Now, new research released today shows the importance of keeping child safety in mind when purchasing toys for your child and monitoring their use of the product to prevent child injuries from occurring.

On November 18, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) released a new report showing that there has been a significant decline in toy recalls since 2008. In the 2010 fiscal year, there were 44 toy recalls, which is down from 50 toy recalls in 2009 and 172 toy recalls in 2008.

The data in the CPSC report also shows that toy-related fatalities also decreased in 2009. The CPSC received reports of 12 children deaths (children under the age of 15) that year, which is down from 24 toy-related deaths in both 2007 and 2008. Most of these fatalities were from motor vehicle accidents, drowning, or airway obstruction from a small toy or a small part of a toy.

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, there was a 21 percent increase in injuries caused by high chairs, strollers, cribs, and other nursery products in 2009 compared to 2008, as reported by online news outlet Bloomberg. There was an estimated 77,300 visits to the emergency room related to injuries from products marketed for children aged five and younger. In 2008, there were 63,700 such hospital visits.

Recently, attorney Larry Coben from the personal injury law firm of Anapol Weiss was featured on Philadelphia Fox 29 to discuss toy safety when shopping during this holiday season. Mr. Coben has practiced law for over 30 years and has extensive experience representing children injured by toys.

When asked what he hears parents say they wish they had done differently to potentially prevent their child from suffering injury, Mr. Coben said parents regret not knowing how their child was going to use the toy that caused the injury. Parents need to think about how children could possibly misuse a toy by reading all the fine print in the instructions that accompanies a child product. Parents also need to make sure a toy is age appropriate for their child, and not buy a toy their child shouldn’t yet be playing with.

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