As any parent knows, young children like to put everything they can find in their mouths.
This is especially common in children under one year of age, but it can continue after that. It takes parents months or years to teach children not to do this.
The risk, then, is that anything with small parts can become a serious choking hazard. When you see the age ratings on certain toys, they do not usually refer to the ages at which a child will enjoy or appreciate that toy. They refer to the age at which that toy becomes safe for the child.
Many will have warnings saying that they are not intended for children who are not yet three years old. These official regulations were created to stop children from "choking on, inhaling, or swallowing small objects." Any of the three can be very dangerous and even deadly.
Beyond just banning a toy that has small, disconnected parts, the regulations also refer to toys that can be broken down into smaller parts. This is important to note because the toy, in its packaging, may appear safe for a young child due to its size. But the reality is that children often break their toys, intentionally or accidentally, and so the law has to account for any parts that may arise as a result. Even a "safe" toy could end up being quite hazardous.
Has your child suffered harm due to a toy that was poorly designed or poorly labeled? Has he or she been exposed to dangerous choking hazards that violate current safety regulations? If so, you need to know what legal steps you can take.