Last year, hoverboards captured national media attention for causing injuries and housefires. Batteries used in some hoverboards overheated and exploded without warning. However, hoverboards were not the only defective or dangerous product to hit the markets in 2015.
It is important for parents to perform research before buying gifts because dangerous products are most likely to harm children. According to a 2014 study published in Clinical Pediatrics, toy injuries sent more than 3 million children to the emergency room in the years between 1990 and 2011. This translates to an emergency room visit every three minutes.
Children can suffer injuries from choking, suffocation and blunt force trauma. These toys often contain no warning labels to alert consumers. In other cases, parents may buy these products in advance, but fail to realize they were placed under recall months later.
How Can Parents Avoid Buying Dangerous Toys?
There are ways to discover if toys are dangerous or defective.
If toys are defective: Defective toys are more likely to be under recall. Parents can visit the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s (CPSC) website and use its search engine to review recall information. Simply type the name of the product into the website’s search engine. If you see results for the product, the CPSC’s website will list information about why it is under recall, and what options are available for receiving refunds or repairs.
If toys are not under recall: Products that are not under recall can still pose dangers to children. Organizations like World Against Toys Causing Harm (W.A.T.C.H) release a list of dangerous toys every year. Parents can also visit www.saferproducts.gov to review safety complaints from other consumers about specific products.