Defective children’s products a holiday danger in South Florida

Retailers are counting on Black Friday and the upcoming holiday shopping season for up to half of their profits for the year. As a child injury lawyer in Boca Raton and Fort Lauderdale, Gregg Hollander and the staff at The Hollander Law Firm, urge you to pay particular attention to the products you are bringing into your home.

Defective children’s products are a common danger, particularly around the holidays.

The Consumer Products Safety Commission recently touted progress when it comes to cracking down on dangerous or deadly toys, saying recalls have dropped from 172 in 2008 to 44 so far in 2010.

We are not sure a recall a week involving children’s toys is cause for celebration. Those statistics are also misleading because the government separates other products, such as cribs and strollers, that are also meant for children. More than 120 non-toy children’s products have been recalled thus far this year.

Toy-related fatalities resulted in the deaths of 12 children under the age of 15. And the government reports that toy-related injuries are increasing. Last year, 186,000 emergency room injuries were reported involving children under the age of 15, compared to 152,000 in 2005.

“By limiting metals and chemicals in toys and making the voluntary standard mandatory, CPSC has put safeguards in place for toys to better protect children,” said Chairman Inez Tenenbaum. “The increase in injuries is a concern, and we want parents to make safe purchases and for children to be safe at play. To help keep what has been called the most wonderful time of the year happy and incident-free, CPSC is encouraging consumers to adopt a three-pronged safety approach.”

Safety tips for purchasing toys this holiday season include:

-Always buy age-appropriate toys.

-Purchase appropriate safety gear with bikes, scooters, skates and other toys.

-Be mindful of the environment in which a child is permitted to play — which should be away from traffic, parking lots, ponds and other hazards.

-Use caution around toys with small parts, which can cause a choking hazard, particularly for children under 3.

-Balloons can present a choking hazard. Discard deflated or broken balloons.

-Magnets – can cause serious injury or death if swallowed by small children.

-Discard packaging and wrapping immediately after presents are opened.

-Keep toys for older children away from younger children.