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Your child's gifts might pose life-threatening risks

The continued need for the public and government agencies to protect children from hazardous toys is evident after a recent investigation into the safety of toys on the shelves this holiday season. Although the Consumer Product Safety Commission along with distributors and manufacturers work to protect children from hazardous toys, sometimes, recalls only occur once injury reports reach authorities or manufacturers. This could leave you -- unknowingly -- with dangerous toys in your home.

Although recalled toys are likely no longer offered for sale, you will be wise to check for recalls occasionally to identify those that might already be a threat to the safety of your child. Online shopping has become popular, but you would be wise to examine toys when they arrive because appropriate warnings might be absent in descriptions online.

Toys to avoid this holiday season

Investigators published the following list of toys that could threaten your child's safety, along with the risks they pose:

  • Toys with small parts: Authorities say any part that is small enough to fit through the hole of a roll of toilet paper pose a choking hazard, and toys marked safe for children over six years often have small removable parts. Check toys for younger children for such hazards, and be aware of the danger if you have children of different ages when they play with each other's toys.
  • Slime: Many of the slimy toys contain as much as 15 times the safe levels of boron, which is a toxic substance that can cause nausea and vomiting along with reproductive health problems in the long-term if your children should ingest some of it.
  • Balloons: Balloons are the primary choking hazard. Your children younger than three years should not play with them, and you would be wise to monitor older children. Your children could easily inhale a balloon or a piece of a popped balloon, which can cause choking.
  • Hatching toys and packaging: Toys that break apart into smaller pieces pose similar choking hazards as the packaging they come in. Dispose of any bits of packaging as soon as possible after unpacking the toy.
  • Noisy toys: If the toy makes a sound that is too loud for you, it is also too loud for your child and could damage his or her hearing.
  • Smart toys: Any toys connected to the internet could collect private data that could ultimately pose cyber-security risks.
  • Makeup kits: Tests have found asbestos present in makeup for kids, and you would be smart to avoid it altogether.

Along with these warnings come the repeated note for parents to keep adult toys like those containing small magnets away from children because, if swallowed, they can cause severe internal damage.

Product liability

If your child should suffer an injury as the result of a defective or dangerous toy, you might have grounds to pursue financial relief. This will require you to file a products liability lawsuit in a civil court, which could be a challenging process that an experienced personal injury attorney could simplify. A successful presentation can lead to a monetary judgment and recovery of economic and noneconomic damages.

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