As we near the greatest gift-giving season of the year, we do recognize toys can be of great benefit to children, helping them to develop, learn and explore. However, they are also a source of serious injury.
A new report published in the journal Clinical Pediatrics indicates the number of toy-related injuries among children has risen sharply in the last two decades. Today, a child is rushed to an emergency room every 3 minutes for treatment of a toy-related injury.
In fact, researchers for the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital found more than 3.2 million children were treated in U.S. emergency rooms for toy-related injuries from 1990 through 2011. More than half of these instances involved children under the age of 5.
Our Fort Lauderdale product liability attorneys understand there is nothing more wrenching as a parent than watching your child suffering and in pain. It simply should never happen. When it does occur as a result of a corporation placing profits before the safety of its consumers, civil litigation can help to hold those firms accountable, while also compensating you and your family for the financial losses and emotional trauma caused by the accident.
Study authors report children of different ages faced different degrees and types of hazards. For example, children under the age of 3 were at a heightened risk of choking hazards. Throughout the study period, there were nearly 110,000 cases of children under the age of five inhaling or swallowing “foreign bodies.” These were not necessarily toys that were intended for that child, but sometimes for older siblings.
Givers of gifts should be wary of providing a toy with small parts in any family where there are smaller children.
For older children, it appears the greatest risk is riding toys. These include things like tricycles, wagons and foot-powered scooters. These accounted for nearly half of all injuries in kids between the ages of 5 and 17, and nearly 30 percent of the injuries sustained by children younger than 5. Accidents resulting from use of these toys are three-fold more likely to result in broken bones than accidents stemming from the use of other toys. Falls and collisions were the most common cause of injuries with these products.
Foot-powered scooters have become an increasing concern. As of 2000 when they began to rise in popularity, through 2011, the end of the study period, there were more than 580,000 injuries reported in relation to these toys. That breaks down to one scooter-related injury every 11 minutes.
It’s important to note not all child injuries stemming from toy use will be compensable through product liability litigation. Typically, it would need to be shown the product was somehow defective – either through poor design or errors in manufacturing. One might also assert a toy manufacturer failed to anticipate all reasonable uses of the toy and did not adequately warn parents of possible dangers.
A claim might also be filed if negligent supervision by a babysitter or other child care provider is at issue.
Researchers recommend parents and loved ones follow age restrictions and other manufacturer recommendations for all toys. If you have small children, analyze each toy for possible choking hazards. If your is gifted a riding toy, make sure it is only used on dry, flat surfaces away from traffic. Any child younger than 8-years-old should be closely supervised on riding vehicles, and all children on riding pads should wear helmets and other protective gear.
Call Freeman Injury Law — 1-800-561-7777 for a free appointment to discuss your rights.
Boston Scientific to Pay $27M in Federal Vaginal Mesh Trial in Florida, Nov. 25, 2014, Fort Lauderdale Child Injury Lawyer Blog
More Blog Entries:
A Child is treated in a U.S. emergency department every 3 minutes for a toy-related injury, Dec. 1, 2014, Press Release, Nationwide Children’s Hospital