As the holiday season approaches, many parents search online for toys and games for their little ones. Consumers should be careful, however, unsafe products for children may be for sale on one of the largest shopping sites, Amazon.com.
According to a recent CNBC report, online retail giant Amazon has not required some toy sellers to provide proof of their products’ safety until after they go on sale on Amazon’s site.
What toy sellers are not required to show proof of safety?
The issue appears to be related to the rapid growth of Amazon’s third-party marketplace, where independent vendors sell directly to consumers. This platform has grown quickly in the last couple of years, making it harder for Amazon to police effectively.
Counterfeit items and fake reviews have reportedly plagued the site, and some toy sellers reported receiving requests for safety documentation as late as two weeks after their products were listed for sale.
In addition, a recent Wall Street Journal investigation found that at least 2,000 listings for toys and medications lacked warnings about dangers to children.
What types of injuries can happen from unsafe toys?
About 250,000 children a year are treated in the emergency room for toy-related injuries, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Specific toys that can cause injury are varied, but include items such as balloons, batteries, game pieces, magnets, and toys with strings or straps. Plastic film coverings on toys can be a choking hazard.
Common injuries a child may suffer from toys include lacerations, poisoning, choking, puncture wounds, bruising, and abrasions. The Centers for Disease Control reports that approximately two-thirds of all injuries from toys occurred above the child’s neck.
How can you keep your child safe from dangerous toys?
There are a number of steps that you can take to protect your children from unsafe toys, including:
- Read warning labels to learn how to properly use the toy and what ages it is designed for.
- Avoid loud toys to prevent damage to hearing.
- Avoid toys with toxic materials that could cause poisoning. The label should say “nontoxic.”
- Avoid toys that shoot objects into the air. They could endanger a child’s eyes or cause choking.
- Choose toys that are large (no small parts), and make sure plastic toys are sturdy. Brittle plastic could shatter and cause cuts or puncture wounds.
- Electric toys should be marked “UL Approved.”
- Be careful when buying crib toys. Ensure that nothing that could cause strangulation, suffocation, or entrapment is within the baby’s reach.
What happens if my child is injured?
If your child is injured using a toy, seek prompt medical attention. If possible, take pictures of any visible injury your child receives before they begin to heal. Keep records of any medical treatment and expenses, as this could be important in a lawsuit. As soon as you are able, you should contact the experienced Albuquerque defective product lawyers of Parnall Law for help.
Our attorneys have extensive experience with product liability cases and can help you seek the compensation you need to ensure your child’s well-being. Call one of our compassionate and knowledgeable trial lawyers, chat with us live, or fill out a contact form to schedule a free consultation.