Tips On Making Safe Purchases This Christmas

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With Christmas right around the corner, people are still shopping for the perfect gifts for their kids. The Nagelberg Bernard Law Group is offering tips that can help parents avoid some of the most dangerous toys and other products that might be available in the lead-up to the holiday.

If you can stay away from the biggest safety offenders of the holiday season, then you can set your family up to have the best Christmas possible.

Christmas is nearly here, and many kids have no doubt already alerted their parents and Santa to the hottest toy of the season.

While most items for purchase will be completely safe, that’s not the case with everything. The season could bring products that present a potential risk to children in certain age groups, and parents must keep abreast of current trends in order to protect their kids from the dangers that might exist.

The Nagelberg Bernard Law Group has compiled a tip sheet that offers important insights into the kinds of dangers that all parents should strive to avoid. The firm’s Los Angeles product liability attorneys are deeply troubled over the thought that a child could come into contact with a dangerous item. Larry Nagelberg, who has more than three decades of experience in the personal injury realm under his belt, had this to say:

“An entire holiday can be ruined if a parent accidentally purchases a product that’s unsafe,” said Mr. Nagelberg. “There are many risks that parents have to be aware of over the coming weeks. If you can stay away from the biggest safety offenders of the holiday season, then you can set your family up to have the best Christmas possible.”

With that in mind, parents and gift-givers everywhere are asked to avoid the following dangerous purchases:

  • High-Powered Magnet Sets - While some retailers now refuse to stock these products, there’s still a risk that they could be given as a toy to a young child. A child may swallow the magnets, which could then attract to one another within his or her digestive tract, causing perforations and serious health complications. Avoid any product that uses high-powered magnets, which are often marketed as desk accessories for adults (see "CPSC Approves Strong Federal Safety Standard for High-Powered Magnet Sets to Protect Children and Teenagers" at this link from September 25 for more information).
  • Drawing The Line - Children’s clothing items with dangerous drawstrings sometimes wind up on store shelves despite being in breach of the law. There are federal regulations in place to ensure that children of a certain age aren’t privy to clothing that contains problematic drawstrings and other constricting material, the thought being that a child could choke or become entrapped by this component. These products tend to sneak out to retailers despite federal oversight, prompting semi-regular recalls in the process. Run a check of any clothing item you purchase (see CPSC's "Drawstrings in Children's Upper Outerwear" page by clicking this link for more details on this hazard).
  • Falling To Pieces - The age range denoted on the side of a toy is there for a reason, and parents shouldn’t ignore these just because they suspect their child can handle the responsibility of a toy for older kids. Oftentimes, age restrictions are in place to prevent young children from coming into contact with small pieces they could try to ingest and subsequently choke on. Make sure a purchase suits its intended audience, and when in doubt, try to fit the small piece through a toilet paper roll. If it fits inside, the piece is too small to be given to a young child.
  • It’s Electric - If you intend to purchase a toy that runs on batteries or electrical power, take precautions. Install batteries yourself rather than relying on a child to do the same, and if there’s an electrical cord that goes with an item, set that up for the child. In this way, it’s possible to ensure the cord is out of the way of walking paths where it could easily become a tripping hazard.
  • Digital Safety - Giving an older child their first mobile device? Make sure they understand the responsibility they’ve been given. A phone, tablet, or handheld gaming device needs to come with specific instructions designed to ensure the child realizes what would constitute an appropriate online interaction. Safety can further be assured by utilizing the parental controls available on mostly any device.

The Nagelberg Bernard Law Group represents the victims of numerous types of personal injury situations, including automobile accidents, foodborne illness, dog bites, slip and fall incidents, defective products, and wrongful death in any of the above. They have guided injured persons through the legal process for more than 30 years and their efforts have helped secure more than $400 million in compensation for clients. Persons interested in legal representation can visit the firm's website to receive a free consultation.

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Larry Nagelberg
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