When you buy your child a new toy, you expect it to bring them months or even years of joy. You never, in your wildest dreams, expect that a toy you buy for your child will end up physically hurting them.
However, nearly a quarter of a million children are injured by toys each year. As a parent, you have the right to demand compensation to cover your child’s medical needs. Although no amount of money will undo the pain and suffering your child has endured, it can help cover the expenses related to your child’s injury.
The Most Dangerous Toys
Every year, the World Against Toys Causing Harm (W.A.T.C.H.) releases its list of the worst toys. Because children can be so easily injured by defective or dangerous toys, this list is important for parents to review and make sure they do not have these toys lying around the house or on their holiday shopping list.
Most toys on this list have small pieces that can be a choking hazard or have sharp edges that could result in a child puncturing their eye or eardrum. Other toys have the potential to burn children. It seems unthinkable that toys such as these could be in your child’s room. If they are, remove them from your child’s playroom and speak with a lawyer. You may be able to collect compensation if your child has been injured by a toy on this list or any other toy that has caused your child suffering.
Here is the list of 2021’s most dangerous toys:
- Squeakee Minis Poppy the Bunny; batteries can be ingested.
- Radio Flyer Spin ‘N Saucer; could impact a child’s body.
- Bright Starts Tummy Time Prop & Play; suffocation.
- Perfectly Cute My Lil’ Baby Feed & Go Set; choking hazards.
- Nerf Hyper Rush-40 Blaster; eye and face injuries.
- Hape Learn to Play Drum; choking hazards.
- Rollers Light-Up Heel Skates; blunt impact dangers.
- Snake Eyes G.I. Joe Origins Ninja Strike Sickles; blunt force and eye injuries.
- Hover-1 My First Hoverboard; head impact injury dangers.
- Walmart My Life as Shopping Basket; choking hazards.
How Children Get Injured
Children unfortunately get injured frequently. Although we often attribute that to just kids being kids, many injuries are not their fault and may be the result of a damaged or defective toy. There are several ways your child could be injured by a toy.
Asphyxiation. Some toys can suffocate children. Think of big stuffed animals and how fluffy they are and how they often outsize smaller children. If these toys are too heavy, they can weigh down on your child’s face, suffocating them. The packaging that many toys come in also contains dangerous materials that can cause a suffocation hazard if children put it in their mouth, which so often happens.
Burns. Electronic toys have the potential to overheat, causing serious burn injuries to children. Other toys have chemicals in them that, if they are broken or the chemicals somehow escape, can also burn your child. These injuries are often extremely painful and can leave lifelong scars on your child’s body.
Choking. Many children’s toys contain tiny pieces that can become lodged in a child’s small throat. Because children are notorious for sticking nearly anything in their mouths, small toys and toys with small pieces present a serious and potentially deadly choking hazard.
Poked eyes and ears. Those same small pieces can also get lodged in a child’s ear, causing permanent hearing damage. Small toys can also present vision hazards. If a child starts bouncing a toy up and down in their hand, as they often do, it could hit them in the face and possibly cause permanent loss of sight.
When a toy injures a child, there is the possibility that the injury happened because of a defect with the toy. This is called products liability.
Products liability is an area of law that seeks to hold manufacturers liable for damages caused by their products, in this case a child’s toy. When a child gets injured by a toy, there are three ways in which the parent may be able to file a lawsuit against the toy manufacturer. The point of filing a lawsuit against the manufacturer is to collect compensation that can help cover the child’s medical expenses, which can become extremely costly, depending on the severity of the injuries the child has suffered.
Design defect. A design defect products liability claim alleges that there was a dangerous defect in the design of the toy. This is usually obvious, as design defects tend to encompass every toy made, not just a few.
To prove a design defect caused an injury to your child, you would need to show that the toy was defectively designed to such a degree that the toy poses a potential danger to every child. Even if the toy was made correctly and there were no issues with the actual manufacturing of the toy, it could still be designed defectively.
For example, say a toy car has been designed with an opening underneath, exposing the gears that move the tires and make the car move. The toy is built correctly and comes out of the factory as designed. You buy the toy for your child, who holds it underneath and gets their fingers caught in the gears and suffers injuries.
Although that toy was made to the manufacturer’s specifications, it was designed inappropriately because it left open and exposed the gears. This could be a situation in which you could hold the manufacturer liable for defectively designing the toy that injured your child.
Manufacturing defects occur when the process of building the toy itself is flawed or something goes wrong. Using the toy car example from above, maybe the car was designed to have a cover underneath to cover the gears, not leaving them exposed to a child’s tiny fingers that could get caught and injured. However, if the car leaves the factory without that cover, that would be an example of a manufacturing defect. To prove a manufacturing defect, you would need to show that you did not remove the cover but that the cover did not come with the toy.
Sticking with the toy car example, if the toy car could be wound up and travel at high speeds, it may run into a child, causing a broken toe or finger. The speed is not evident to you when you purchase the toy for your child, so the manufacturer would be required to place a warning label on the toy, letting you know of the potential hazards. If they did not provide such a warning, they could be liable for damages if your child gets injured using their toy.
Philadelphia Products Liability Lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC, Help Your Family Stay Safe
When buying a toy for your child, you never expect that your child will get injured from the toy. Unfortunately, this can happen, and you are left with a child in pain. If a dangerous or defective toy has injured your child, reach out to the Philadelphia products liability lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC. We are committed to helping families like yours seek appropriate compensation for their child’s injuries. Call us today at 215-569-4888 or contact us online for a free consultation. Located in Philadelphia, Abington, and Media, Pennsylvania; Wilmington, Delaware; and Haddonfield, New Jersey, we serve clients throughout the surrounding areas.