The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that in 2013, there were approximately 256,700 injuries related to toys in Tennessee and across the country. Additionally, nine children 12 or younger that same year died in an incident associated with a toy. These toy-related deaths and injuries demonstrate the importance of ensuring that anything a child plays with is safe.
The USCPSC is entrusted with ensuring that any toy intended for use by kids 12 and younger must be tested by a third party and then certified. This helps to identify potential hazards, including lead, unsafe parts and defects.
Beyond that, there are steps that parents and guardians may take. The group World Against Toys Causing Harm, Inc., suggests keeping a close eye on the following:
- Toys that project, such as guns or slingshots, as these can cause eye injuries or other wounds.
- Toys with hair or fur that young children could accidentally ingest, leading to aspiration.
- Toys that are marketed to children younger than 8 that have batteries, because batteries could explode, overheat or leak.
- Toys with strings 6 inches or longer, which are a strangulation threat.
- Toys with the possibility of toxic components, such as children’s makeup, which may contain known poisons.
Should tragedy strike, a family should know that Tennessee law enables them to hold negligent manufacturers responsible. For example, a child’s makeup that contains toxic substances could be viewed as a dangerous product in a court of law. A wrongful death lawsuit may not bring back a child, but it can compensate a family for their loss and potentially help prevent others from suffering the same fate.