Whether you push through the crowds to nab the last of that popular toy or calmly order it online, buying the perfect holiday gift can be just as fun as receiving it. You are probably envisioning the look of delight on the child’s face as the wrapping paper is ripped away. But you might also think of the safety profile of the toy or the risk of misuse as well. You would much rather be part of a warm childhood memory than the reason for an unpleasant injury. It’s important to know not every item in the toy store is considered safe for kids. Luckily, most toy-related accidents are preventable.
Every year, an unfortunate number of children are rushed to the emergency room due to toy-related injuries. Dale E. Anstine’s personal injury attorneys specialize in dangerous and defective product cases so we want to provide this checklist of safety reminders to review before picking out the perfect gift this season.
Gift Guide Safety Checklist
Is the toy age appropriate?
Keep in mind the age of those on your shopping list. Kids are not usually aware of the age recommendation for the items included on their wish lists. While picking products off the shelves, keep an eye out for the age range listed on the packaging to ensure they’re crafted and designed with that child in mind. For example, a toy designed for ages six and older may contain small pieces that could be quickly and easily swallowed by younger children. Age-specific toys are created to align with the cognitive development expected for assigned age groups.
Is the price tag significantly reduced or too good to be true?
This can be a red flag. A big price drop can occur for a variety of reasons, including some that can be of concern for safety. Has the product received complaints? Are shoppers not picking this item off the shelves? Has a new and improved version come out as a result of consumer complaints or safety risks? Is the item poorly constructed or missing pieces? These are some questions to ask before purchasing a significantly reduced gift item for any child.
Has the product been recalled?
While, typically, recalled products are pulled off the shelves … it is not uncommon for them to make their way into thrift stores, consignment shops and yard sales. Be especially careful when shopping at these places for gifts for children, as secondhand toys can often impose a safety risk. From improper cleaning and prior usage to missing pieces and battery corrosion, be mindful to carefully check if a toy is in safe condition and whether or not the manufacturer has recalled it for any reason.
Is there an expiration date?
If an expiration date is listed on the packaging or on the product, ensure that the gift will be given prior to that date and with adequate time to be used or played with safely. Expiration dates can indicate an amount of time the item is considered to be safe.
What are other consumers saying?
Check consumer reviews to get an idea of what others have experienced. Even if the toy is not recalled or appearing to be unsafe in any way, there may be unexpected problems that others have shared through consumer reviews. Know what these issues may be and if they impose a safety risk to the child you are shopping for.
Even with the best of intentions and preparation, accidents do happen. It can be difficult to put restrictions on children but it’s important for parents and all gift buyers to pay attention to their inner voice. If there are concerns or doubts about a toy, its best to impose some safety rules. Try not to bow to the peer pressure even when “all other children are playing with this toy.”
Do your best to shop smart this season. Keep this safety checklist in mind as you’re picking out the perfect gifts for children, and check out the list of the 10 Worst Toys of 2019 shared by W.A.T.C.H (World Against Toys Causing Harm). If you or a loved one have been injured as a result of a dangerous or defective product, those responsible for putting the product into your hands, including the manufacturer and/or retailer may be to blame. Reach out to the specialized personal injury attorneys at Dale E. Anstine. Our team is proud to protect the injured across the Central PA community, with offices in York and Gettysburg. Consultations are always free, we are available 24/7, and there’s no fee unless we win for you.