When parents purchase toys for their children, they trust that they are safe. What they may not know is that it can be difficult to make such a guarantee. For many reasons, unsafe toys may be on retailers' shelves, for many years -- even after problems have been reported, recalls have been issued and even some children have died. Parents in New York might not think of a toy as a dangerous product, but they deserve to know the possible risks.
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), recalls have risen significantly over the last 40 years. They attribute this to more toys being imported from overseas, where regulations are not as strict as they are in the United States. In 2009, most toys that were recalled came from foreign manufacturers. An added danger is that even if a toy comes from a "trusted" country, like Canada, parts of the toy may come from other countries that do not have the same regulations and may cut corners in order to save money -- all at the potential cost of the lives of children.
These toys may contain small parts that can be easily swallowed, incorrect age guidelines or toxic chemicals -- such as asbestos, lead or other carcinogens. They may even have magnets that, when ingested, can cause even more problems inside the tiny and vulnerable digestive tracts of children. Though the CPSC does its best to ensure that consumers are alerted to these potential dangers and that toys are recalled, some companies may re-release the same dangerous toys under new names, or fail to notify the public of the possible risks, and the CPSC is not a large enough entity to keep up.
New York parents who have children who have been hurt or killed due to a dangerous product like one of these toys have legal options of which they may not be aware. They might be able to file a products liability claim against the toy manufacturer or other responsible parties. Doing so may not only result in financial restitution, but in real changes that might save the lives of countless children.
Source: justice.org, "Playing with safety: dangerous toys and the role of America's Civil Justice System", , Oct. 6, 2014