Consumer Attorneys of California and other trial lawyer associations are aiming to prevent potentially fatal toy-related injuries during the holiday season by warning parents to take preventative care when it comes to children’s toys.
This action was brought on after more than a quarter of a million serious toy-related injuries were recorded in 2011, according to a press release.
The main concern for the attorney group is providing public awareness on the issue, said Brian Kabateck, president of Consumer Attorneys.
“We’re trying to avoid anything bad happening in the first place. So generally we want people to be aware of what toys have been recalled and we want … the merchants and the distributors to be aware of the problem, so that those recalled toys don’t even reach the shelves in the first place,” Kabateck said.
Kabateck is part of a lawyer group that helps prevent potentially dangerous toys from being put onto shelves. Their organization is made up of lawyers who represent injured people and their families.
Toys are usually recalled for having lead paint. He said toys that are made in China don’t have the same restrictions the United States has.
“Or it could be a toy that’s potentially innocent looking, but when you hand it to a small child, they end up swallowing it and it causes them to choke. In some cases, death,” Kabateck said.
He suggests that parents do their research to see if a toy had any recalls.
“They will usually pull up very easily with a simple search, or there may be blogs that identify (certain) toys,” he said.
Parents can protect their children from hazardous toys by “100 percent supervision, 100 percent of the time”, said Jenny Taylor, director of the Cal State Fullerton Children’s Center.
Taylor described toys that pose a choking hazard to be smaller than a paper towel or toilet paper roll.
She said most toys have labels on them, and that parents can take preventative care by reading these.
“Everything pretty much has labels on it, so just being diligent about labels and not removing labels from toys.”
She said when the recalls do happen, a lot of it has to do with the preventative measures and not watching the children.
“So it is a little tricky, because the toy may not be the problem, but the supervision might be,” she said.
Although, she did not want to place the blame on anybody, she said. “The government does a great job of making sure that toys get recalled when they need to be.”
Chyra Christensen, a Norco resident and a mother of three, agrees with government regulations.
“Luckily the government keeps such strong guidelines over stuff. There aren’t that many hazardous toys out there, that I have ever come across,” said Christensen.
She said Toys R Us has a glass case near the entrance of the store, it shows notices of recalled toys.
“So I’ll normally look at that, to see if there’s anything that I’ve purchased that has been recalled,” Christensen said.
She said her main concern is the paint on toys and making sure that it doesn’t chip off, because babies chew on things.
“I don’t want them eating paint chips, whether they say it’s non-toxic or not. It’s still not going to be good for them,” Christensen said.