As parents search for the perfect toys for their children this holiday season, we’d like to share a few tips on purchasing safer toys for their toddlers and little ones.
BEWARE OF 3 THINGS: AVOID ANY TOYS WHICH SAY…
1. “ADULT SUPERVISION REQUIRED . . .”
2. “SMALL PARTS may be generated…”
3. Toys sold “ON LINE” usually have no warnings whatsoever and/or have recommended ages which are inaccurate.
Here are twelve different toy types to avoid when choosing for your children.
1) Avoid toys that look like amusement park or circus ride/attraction and any trampolines.
BIG ROCK & ROLL BALL PIT
Orthopedic, Spinal Cord & Brain Injury
Manufacturer/ Distributor: Little Tykes Co. (sold @ Toys R Us)
Age: 3+ Years
“CAUTION: Use only under Competent Supervision”; DO NOT dive on, climb on, or jump off … ”; (etc.)
JUMPSMART, JR. (MiniTrampoline)
Orthopedic, Spinal Cord & Brain Injury
Manufacturer/ Distributor: JumpSport/Bang Creations (sold @ Toys R Us)
Age: 3 – 8; 80lbs Max
“Warning! Young children in play are unaware of potential dangers and hazards, therefore responsible adult supervision is essential…Check all fixings regularly, and ensure the suspension system is secure… Discontinue use if weakening or breakage found. Contact our Customer Service Department in the event of failure.”
2) Don’t purchase toys that can be ingested with
a) small parts, balls, bells, marbles & play foods
b) any high powered magnets and
c) any lead or toxic chemical.
TWIST ‘n SORT (wooden block set)
Death by Choking Hazard
Manufacturer: Guidecraft, Inc.
Recommended Age: “3+”
Warnings: “WARNING: CHOKING HAZARD – Small parts. Not for children under 3 yrs.”
W.A.T.C.H. OUT! “brightly colored geometric block & solid wood base… sold to provide yrs of developmental fun” with “problem solving challenges” & “fine motor practice.” Oct 2011, certain lots were recalled because “[t]he small pegs on 3 of 4 posts can detach, posing a choking hazard .” “Choking hazard” identified in government recall.
ALERT: Oct. 22, 2013: Buckyballs, Zen Magnets, and other high-powered magnetic desk toys have been popular holiday gifts in recent years, but US Consumer Product Safety Commission public hearing, several doctors urged that consumers cross these dangerous toys off shopping lists, and also recommended these magnetic balls should be banned from US market. These toys have more 200+ tiny round/cube-shape neodymium magnets 15x more powerful than standard magnets; and. they stick together with such force if a child swallows more than one they can pull at the gastrointenstinal track, boring holes in the stomach or intestines. This could result in severe, life-threatening complications within hours.
DISNEY PRINCESS BACKPACK FISHING KIT
Toxic Lead Poisoning
Manufacturer: Disney; Pure Fishing (subsidiary of Jarden Corp)
Recommended Age: “4 + Up”
“Warning: contains lead. May be harmful if eaten or chewed. May generate dust containing lead.” NOTE: This Disney backpack, for tots as young as 4 yrs, “contains lead.” Toxic chemicals should not be in children’s products!
3) Stay clear of any explosive devices, rocketry projectiles or RC UFO’s.
THE RC RADIO CONTROLLED FLYING BAT
Eye, Facial, Burning Injury Hazard
Manufacturer: Shantou Yifan Toys (sold @ Toys R Us)
Age Recommended: 8+
Warnings:. NONE On Line
4) Avoid any mobiles mounted on or near cribs.
BABY EINSTEIN SWEET SEA DREAMS MOBILE
Strangulation Death Hazard
Manufacturer: Kids II (sold @ Toys R Us)
Recommended Age: Birth 24 Months
Warning: NONE ON LINE
5) Stay away from any flammable or soft “smothering” toys, chairs, bedding, clothing, pillows, etc.
Over 90 % of children’s furniture on US & Canadian market is laced with flame-retardant chemicals linked to neurodevelopmental problems, cancer, other illnesses, according to a new study by the nonprofit Center for
Environmental Health; it analyzed 42 pieces of children’s furniture containing polyurethane foam sold across North
America. Half the furniture was from California, with strict fire safety regs for consumer products; rest came from
12 states and Canada; all came from major retailers – Babies “R” Us and Toys “R” Us, Walmart, Kmart, Target, etc.
ALERT: A new report from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says more and more babies are suffocating while sleeping and they WARN PARENTS TO KEEP CRIBS EMPTY. Think about all those pretty looking, fluffy toys, blankets, bumpers, etc., that you put in/on your baby’s crib. They may look adorable in the store displays, but some experts say infants are dying from them — because companies and stores are putting profit over safety.
6) Don’t get toys with long 7” cords or strings or chains.
OLD FASHIONED PULL-ALONG QUAKERS THE DUCK
Strangulation Death Hazard
Manufacturer: Hearth Song Sold ON-LINE by Hearth Song
Recommended Age: 18 Months+
Warning: NONE (with a cord almost 3 feet long!)
7) Avoid any ride-on toys, mini-vehicles or toys that can tip-over.
ALERT: Kids’ Bikes and Ride-On Toys Can Cause Serious Fall Injuries. Ride-on toys like Step2’s 2.8 MILLION recalled buggy toys are annually recalled because they pose a fall hazard. Bike forks break and kids get injured. If brakes or steering fail, a child will crash. Beware of ride-on toys your child already has: check the toy recall lists to ensure they haven’t been recalled.
8) Steer clear of any electrical or exposed/exposable battery toys.
ALERT: Recently, cases of children swallowing button batteries have increasing significantly; the small, coin sized batteries are found in toys and games, hearing aids, watches and calculators. Recently, the number of flashlights and remote controls using button batteries has increased. The shiny objects seem innocent, but can be deadly. Pediatrics2012 study found the rate of battery injuries has almost doubled in 20-years (1990-2010). There is a child admitted to an ER almost every three hours in the USA for a button battery injury. 84% of those batteries were button batteries; only 16 % were cylindrical.
9) Keep away from any shooting toys or illegal slingshots or any guns or weapons that look real or are called “replicas”.
BLACK WIDOW FOLDING SLINGSHOT
Death by Choking Hazard
THIS YEAR’S 2013 MOST BIZARRE “TOY” (IS ILLEGAL IN THE STATE OF NEW JERSEY)
Manufacturer/Distributer: Barnett Outdoors, LLC (sold on Amazon.com for toddlers):
Age Recommendation: “6 months and up” (online only)
NO WARNING: Manufacturer denies or “disclaims” any responsibility with “Disclaimer of liability”
that “[i]f improperly used…could cause severe harm”; and other cautions and instructions.”
ARMY FORCE AUTOMATIC RIFLE
Shooting or death by Police Gunshot
Manufacturer/Distributer: Chuangfu Toys Factory (sold on Amazon.com for toddlers):
Age Recommendation: “8 years and up” (online); “AGE FOR 3 YEAR OLD (on packaging)”
WARNING: CHOKING HAZARD – small parts. Not for children under 3 years” and other warnings (package)
NOTE: Paint guns are NOT toys, they are “weapons” (N.J.S.A. 2C:39-1r), but, are not considered “firearms,” and some “Sporting Goods” stores sell them to minors. Paintball guns are very dangerous to eyes.
REMEMBER: THESE “look alike” or replica guns DO NOT LOOK LIKE TOYS TO THE POLICE!
10) Don’t choose play boxing gloves or any martial arts toys.
BOOMERANG “THROW & CATCH”
Orthopedic, Wrist, Eye, Brain Injury
Manufacturer/Distributer: Kole Imports (sold on Amazon.com)
$1.27 (based on $30.46 for a case of 24)
Recommended Age: “16 months and up (online); “not for children under 3 years” (package)
Warnings: “WARNING: CHOKING HAZARD- small parts (package); “Unsuitable for children under 36 months, because it’s a flying toy,” and other cautions. W.A.T.C.H. OUT! POTENTIAL FOR IMPACT INJURIES! This rigid plastic boomerang incorporates whistles that “make a bee sound” when thrown. The manufacturer cautions that the “toy” should not be aimed at “people and animals.” Boomerangs should not be sold for children of any age.
11) Avoid any hitting, launching, projectile, sharp stabbing toys.
MAX STEEL INTERACTIVE STEEL WITH “TURBOFYING” TURBO SWORD
Blindness, Eye, Facial Injury
Age Recommendation: “4+”
Warnings: “WARNING: Small parts may be generated” (on package)
Note: Young children are urged to “attach steel to turbofy” this rigid plastic sword, sword, measuring approximately 2 feet long. The blade has the potential to cause facial or other impact injuries.
NO WARNINGS are provided to purchaser or user regarding the potential for eye or other impact injuries.
12) Don’t purchase dollar or bargain toys that deteriorate or come apart.
ALERT: Cheap Toys: To “Cut Corners” many toys from $1/$5 Dollar stores, doctors’-office treasure chests, fast-food meals and birthday-party favors have been recalled this year. To design, manufacture, package, ship, market and sell a toy for under a $1, toy manufacturers have to cut corners somewhere; often the toy is manufactured overseas and importers have no control over whether they use lead paint, poisonous chemicals, or put them together so they will stay together. “You get what you pay for” is a good rule of thumb for toy buyers. Wouldn’t you rather have one $10 toy than ten $1 toys anyway?
HAVE A SAFE & HAPPY HOLIDAY
MAGGIANO,DIGIROLAMO & LIZZI, P.C.
TRIAL LAWYERS FOR PUBLIC SAFETY
Please DO NOT DRIVE while “inTEXTicated” !!