The last thing you want this holiday season is for your child to suffer an injury from a gift he or she receives. Each year, over 250,000 children suffer toy-related injuries significant enough to warrant a trip to the emergency room. Many of these preventable accidents occur during this season.
As a parent, you may feel stressed at this time of year, especially when it comes to shopping for your children. Finding just the right presents or tracking down those coveted items on your child's list may have you rushing from store to store in between planning parties and preparing for other holiday celebrations. In your rush, it is important not to skip important safety steps while choosing toys and games for your child.
Helmets save lives
If your child has asked for a bike or scooter for Christmas, you will want to include a helmet with that gift. Injuries involving bikes and scooters can be life-changing, even fatal. Your child may suffer a head injury that leaves him or her with permanent disabilities, and a helmet can go a long way in preventing such a tragedy.
In fact, even if your child already has a helmet, it may not be a bad idea to upgrade. Chances are he or she has grown in the past year, and an ill-fitting helmet provides little protection.
Other toy concerns
While bike and scooter accidents made up the most critical injuries last year, any toy can be dangerous. You will want to take the time to read the label and examine the object for any of the following factors:
- Are there small parts that may dislodge and become choking hazards?
- Does the toy have sharp edges that may cut?
- Does the toy use button batteries that annually cause nearly 3,000 trips to the emergency room for choking and burns to the throat?
- Is it possible the toy contains lead? For example, was it made in China or does it have parts manufactured in China?
- Does the label provide warnings about the toy or game's safety?
- Even if the child to whom you intend to give the toy is old enough, are there smaller, younger children in the home for whom the toy would be a hazard?
While you may take every precaution when purchasing toys for your child, you cannot always be certain the toy manufacturer or distributor has taken the same steps to ensure your child's safety. A toy or game that is defective or that does not provide adequate warning of dangers may leave your child with severe injuries. In these cases, you may wish to consult with a South Carolina legal professional to discuss your options.