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How to avoid dangerous toys when holiday shopping

When you shop for holiday gifts for your child, you are likely thinking about the child’s wish list, the cost of different toys and perhaps the educational value of some toys. While toys like slingshots or BB guns may bring safety concerns to mind, you may not realize the dangers some other toys pose. Yet, every three minutes a child is taken to an emergency room in the United States for a toy-related injury, according to World Against Toys Causing Harm, Inc. (W.A.T.C.H.).

In some situations, when a child is injured by a toy it can result in a products liability claim. This can be the case if the injury was caused by a poor design for the toy or a manufacturer’s defect of the toy. It can also be the case if the injury was caused because you weren’t adequately warned by the company that there was a safety hazard. To help prevent toy-related injuries, W.A.T.C.H. recently released its list of this season's 10 worst toys, which can help you avoid buying toys that could cause serious injuries.

Several toys are on the list because they contain choking or eye hazards. However, an AP News article about the list pointed out that warnings about these hazards are often put on the packaging and instructions for these products. This is why, as a shopper, it is important to read the warnings on toy packages before making your purchases.

The following are a few additional guidelines W.A.T.C.H. recommends you consider when shopping in the toy aisle:

  • Projectile toys can cause eye injuries and blindness.
  • Toys with small parts, removable parts or long handles generally pose choking hazards to young children.
  • Batteries can leak, overheat or explode, making battery operated toys inappropriate for children under 8 years old.
  • Toys with strings longer than six inches or that are to be strung across a crib or playpen can cause strangulation.

No parent wants to see one of their children hurt by a toy that was supposed to bring joy. That is why it is important to consider the dangers some toys pose. Being an informed shopper can help you select gifts that are both fun and safe for your children this season.

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