Toy Safety Knowledge Can Avert Tragedy According to Personal Injury Law Firm Anapol Schwartz

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Parents are urged by the Anapol Schwartz law firm to get information about how to best choose toys this holiday season to avoid an unintended tragedy.

It is imperative that shoppers evaluate the safety of every toy.

Jo-Ann Stores Inc. and the U.S. Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recalled about 1,800 Foam Pumpkin Turkey Craft Kit Magnets on November 21 after reports showed loose magnets in the kit, if swallowed, can clamp a child's intestines, slice tissue, obstruct the intestine, or cause sepsis and death.* Incidents such as this are profound reminders that parents must get information about how to best choose toys this holiday season, according to Larry Coben of the Anapol Schwartz law firm.

December is Safe Toys and Gifts Month and a perfect reminder for consumers that even the sweetest little holiday gifts can be a deadly danger to children. It is also an opportunity to learn how to spot unsafe children’s products and prevent accidents.

More than 150,000 toy-related emergency room visits** and dozens of deaths occur every year*** despite efforts by the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) to keep dangerous toys off the market. Parents who know what to look for could prevent their children from suffering a similar fate this holiday season and in the years to come.

For example, small toys made to look or smell like food can invite children to put the toys in their mouths and cause a choking hazard. Toys with a cord, rope, chain, string or elastic – even if they’re retractable – can strangle a child. Children’s clothing, sleep items and toys can catch on fire and lead to severe burns or death. Baby furniture such as cribs, high chairs, walkers and playpens may also pose serious dangers such as suffocation.****

“During the holiday shopping season, people sometimes forget that toys can be deadly,” said Coben. “It is imperative that shoppers evaluate the safety of every toy. Relying on the CPSC is not enough, as some hazards slip through the cracks every year.”

There are several steps everyone can take this holiday season to identify potentially hazardous toys, according to the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt.*****
1.    Always supervise children during playtime.
2.    Make sure the toy is age-appropriate.
3.    Look for quality construction and check for hazards such as sharp edges or missing pieces.
4.    Use the “toilet paper test” for small parts; if an item can fit inside a toilet paper tube, it can be a choking hazard.
5.    Avoid toys with cords longer than seven inches to prevent strangulation.
6.    Avoid electric or battery-operated toys for children under eight years old.

Following these simple toy safety steps can prevent toy-related accidents year-round, Coben urges.

Founded in 1977, Anapol Schwartz is a civil justice law firm with 20 attorneys. The firm has law offices in Philadelphia and Harrisburg, Pa., as well as in Cherry Hill, N.J. and Scottsdale, Ariz. The firm has represented clients in many personal injury matters, such as defective medical devices, dangerous drugs and medical negligence.

*cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml13/13046.html
**childrenshospital.vanderbilt.org/services.php?mid=8080
***cpsc.gov/library/toymemo10.pdf
****cobenlaw.com/safe-toys.asp
*****childrenshospital.vanderbilt.org/services.php?mid=8080

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Brian J. O'Malley
Anapol Schwartz
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