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Unforeseen Hazards Contribute To Toy-Related Injuries | Ormond Beach Child Injury Lawyer

Unforeseen Hazards Contribute To Toy-Related Injuries

Unforeseen hazards are still finding their way into toys despite recently improved safety standards, illustrating the need for a strong civil justice system that protects children and holds negligent manufacturers accountable, according to a report from the American Association for Justice (AAJ).

For years, corporations have knowingly shipped toys with hidden dangers like small parts, loose magnets, asbestos, and other toxic chemicals until outrage from parents and civil actions forced regulators or manufacturers to act.

“As toys have become more sophisticated, so too have the risks associated with them,” said AAJ President Gibson Vance. “Protecting our children requires vigilance from everyone. Regulators, parents, manufacturers, and the civil justice system all play a part in keeping dangerous toys off store shelves.”

Since 1974, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has issued more than 850 recalls for toy products, many for hazards like magnets, lead and other dangers hidden in our children’s toys. Between 2004 and 2008, toy-related injuries increased 12 percent, and over the last 10 years, toy-related injuries have increased 54 percent.

In 2010, unsafe levels of cadmium were found in children’s jewelry, a toxic metal known to cause cancer and ranked as seventh on a federal list of the 275 most hazardous substances. An investigation found the origin of the metal was likely China, where the use of the toxin had been prompted, ironically, by the recent prohibition of using lead. The U.S. imports more than 30,000 tons of toys every year from foreign markets, accounting now for 95 percent of toys sold in the U.S.

While regulators lack the resources and staff to police the market, parents, consumer groups and the civil justice system have stepped into the void.

In 2007, a popular CSI Fingerprint Examination Kit contained a powder found to contain up to five percent asbestos, potentially sending lethal tremolite asbestos into the air and into children’s lungs. Once the hazard was known, manufacturer CBS Consumer Products refused to remove it from store shelves as Christmas approached.

Rather than wait for the Consumer Product Safety Commission to negotiate a recall, the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization filed a civil action to stop sales of the kit and allow consumers who had bought it to receive a refund.

According to the report “Playing with Safety: Dangerous Toys and the Role of America’s Civil Justice System,” today’s children are more at risk from toys than ever before. “While parents may know to check for sharp pieces or small objects, no parent can be expected to detect the presence of unseen toxins or anticipate unforeseeable medical risks,” the report states. “Inevitably, millions of dangerous toys will find their way into the hands of children every year. Perhaps more than any other category of product, the vast imports of toys illustrate the need for the civil justice system to bolster the front lines of regulators and parents.”

For more on child safety issues, see the library or articles by Daytona Beach child injury lawyer.

Toy Safety Resources

For more on toy safety see the AAJ report at

  • www.justice.org/toys

U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) – Toy Safety:

  • http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/pubs/toy_sfy.html

ConsumerReports.org – Toy buying advice:

  • http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/babies-kids/school-age-kids/toys/toy-buying-advice/index.htm

Centers for Disease Control and Preventi on (CDC) – Lead Recalls:

  • http://www.cdc.gov/nceh/lead/Recalls/toys.htm

American Academy of Pediatrics – Toy Safety:

  • Guidelines for Parents – http://www.aap.org/new/toysafety-part1.pdf
  • Age-Appropriate Toys and Toys to Avoid – http://www.aap.org/new/toysafety-part2.pdf


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