Published December 23, 2013 14:12

The U.S. Public Interest Research Group’s (PIRG) 28th annual study of toy safety, released in November 2013, reveals that toys containing dangerous and even toxic substances are still available in today’s market. For their “Trouble in Toyland” report, PIRG lab-tested toys for toxic substances such as lead cadmium and phthalates, chemicals that have been shown to have serious negative impacts on children’s health and development, and several toys with high levels of lead, the toxic metal antimony, high levels of phthalates and cadmium.

Though the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) of 2008 was created to impose stronger rules to remove dangerous toys and children’s products from the market, not all manufacturing companies comply with the law, and according to PIRG, certain “holes” remain. PIRG’s study also found that toy magnets can cause serious harm if swallowed, small toys marketed at young children that create a choking hazard and very loud toys can damage children’s hearing.

To help ensure your children’s toys are safe this holiday, Herman, Herman & Katz suggests following these safety guidelines:

· Be aware of choking hazards – bigger is better for small children. Pay attention to toy safety guidelines that are clearly marked on the package; certain toys are not appropriate for children under age 3. Also, inspect toys for loose parts, particularly magnets.

· “Harmless” everyday products look like toys to kids – the shiny exterior of magnets and batteries are attractive to babies, but can be fatal if swallowed, so keep them away from young children’s reach.

· Listen – if a noise-making or music-playing toy is too loud for you, it is too loud for your developing child’s ears.

· Some toys contain toxic substances – don’t buy toys that are made of PVC plastic, or even soft vinyl lunch boxes and bibs.

· Be alert – parental supervision and being aware of what your kids are playing with is always the most effective way to ensure their safety.

· Do your research – the CPSC launched as a public database so parents could share reports on dangerous toys or products designed for kids. You can also read the annual “Worst Toys List” online and keep these out of your home.

To read the PIRG’s full report, click here.

At HH&K, we are dedicated to protecting the well being and justice of people and understand that large companies are not always after the same goal. If your child has been injured due to what you suspect may be a hazardous toy or children’s product, speak to one of our attorneys to understand your legal rights.

Everyone at HH&K wishes your family a safe and joyous holiday season and a prosperous new year.

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