Children’s Products and the CPSIA
When parents hand their children a toy, they expect that toy will be safe for the child to use. In many cases, this is true. Children’s toys are usually designed to safely educate and entertain children from infancy through their childhood. However, these toys are not just safe because a child is going to be using them. Federal regulations require that children’s products be safe for children to use.
In particular, the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act regulates the production of certain “children’s products” sold in the United States. Children’s products generally include those products intended for children ages 12-years-old and under. Under the CPSIA, these products must meet four qualifications.
First, children’s products must comply with children specific safety rules. These rules vary based on the product being sold. They can include restrictions on the use of lead paint, limits on the use of Phthalate and other hazardous materials and durability requirements.
Second, a Consumer Product Safety Commission approved laboratory must have tested the product to determine if it complies with applicable safety standards. Third, the product must have a Children’s Product Certificate issued. This written document proves that the product is in compliance with regulations.
Finally, the product must have a permanent tracking label. This label can be included on the item itself or the item’s packaging. This label should include the name of the manufacturer, date of production and other identifying information.
By complying with these regulations, children’s toys should be safer. However, these regulations won’t prevent all injuries. When a dangerous children’s toy causes an injury, a lawsuit may be an option.
Reasons for Childcare Product Recalls
When anyone involved in the design, manufacturing, or marketing of a childcare product makes a mistake, the effects can be devastating to the children who encounter that product. Some of the most common reasons that toys and other children’s products are recalled include:
- Lead paint poisoning
- Age-inappropriate dangers
- Choking hazards
Other reasons for product recalls include lack of warning labels, suffocation dangers, heating elements, and dangerous chemicals. Although the United States has relatively strict laws concerning the manufacturing of childcare products, mistakes can and do occur, putting innocent children in harm’s way.
The Dangers of Lead Paint Poisoning
Lead paint poisoning is a medical condition caused by dangerous levels of heavy metal lead in the body. Up until 1978, household paints contained lead. Although laws have since been passed in order to ban led from paint, it is still possible for lead to be present in air, water, commercial products, and properties built before 1978. Considering the dangers of lead paint poisoning, we at the Burch Law Firm believe that no one in New Braunfels should have to risk exposure due to the carelessness of another property owner or manufacturer.
Side Effects of Lead Paint Poisoning
Lead is toxic to many vital organs and tissues, and can interfere with a variety of body processes. The damage caused by lead paint poisoning varies significantly depending on the length or amount of exposure, in addition to the age of the person being exposed to it. Common side effects of lead paint poisoning include:
- Abdominal pain
Prolonged or severe exposure could even cause more debilitating health problems, such as coma and kidney failure. These and other symptoms of lead paint poisoning can be devastating as they often lead to potentially permanent consequences, costly medical bills, and even death.
Choking accidents are extremely frightening, for both the person choking and for his or her loved ones. Unfortunately, children are more prone to choke, especially those that are younger. While a choking incident is not always the particular fault of another party, some of them are, in fact, caused by dangerous children’s products. A main responsibility of manufacturers who make children’s products is to ensure they are age appropriate and will not cause a child to choke.
Unfortunately, our attorneys at the Burch Law Firm know that many children in New Braunfels suffer the physical and psychological harm that choking can cause due to manufacturers’ negligence in fulfilling this major responsibility. In these situations, the irresponsible manufacturer or distributor should be held accountable for the undue harm their product has caused.
Children’s Products that Pose Choking Hazards
Product manufacturers must remain diligent and aware of the dangers of their products when designing, creating, and distributing them to consumers. When they don’t, they may pose a serious danger to children. Unfortunately, the following products all too often put innocent children in danger:
- Products with loose parts
- Improperly designed toys
- Age-inappropriate toys
- Products with small parts
- Products with removable parts.
All of these products have the potential to cause serious injury if a small child gets a hold of them and chokes on a piece.
Our children play with toys nearly every day, making it essential that the toys they play with are appropriate for their age and maturity. While part of this responsibility belongs to the parents, who should only buy toys suitable to their child’s age, a large part of the responsibility also belongs to toy manufacturers. These companies should make sure that the toys they create and market have the appropriate age labels on them. If a toy manufacturer fails in this, a child may play with an age-inappropriate toy and suffer serious harm.
At the Burch Law Firm, we understand the pain that New Braunfels parents experience when their children are harmed by an age-inappropriate toy. Such incidents are almost always preventable when the manufacturer takes the proper precautions and ensures they are properly labeling their toys. As such, these parties can usually be held legally liable when their age-inappropriate toy harms an innocent child.
Age-inappropriate Toys and the Harm They Cause
Toys that are deemed to be age-inappropriate are considered to be so due to the harm that they can cause a child of a certain age using it. Some common injuries caused by age-inappropriate toys include:
- Cuts / lacerations
- Bruising / contusions
- Eye injuries
- Choking / small parts
- Electrical malfunctions / burns
When a child suffers from these and other injuries as a result of an age-inappropriate toy, the consequences for both the child and the family may be great.
Children Should Be Safe While They Play
There are very few times in a person’s life that are as carefree as childhood. Ideally, children should be able to spend their days learning, playing and growing. They don’t have to feel the pressures of adulthood or worry about the potential dangers around them. Instead, parents shoulder these burdens. Parents are supposed to understand when a situation is too dangerous for a child or when extra precautions need to be taken.
However, there are some things that parents just feel more comfortable with than others. Children’s toys, for example, are supposed to be made for children and designed to be safe. When people give their children toys they expect that the toys are safe for the children to use. Parents may not even think about the potential dangers involved.
All too often, however, inappropriate warnings on toys, choking hazards, manufacturing defects and other harmful dangers present in toys cause harm to children. In other words, children needlessly suffer because of a dangerous children’s product.
When this happens, the children may end up with serious emotional and physical injuries. By filing a products liability lawsuit, parents can oftentimes hold companies responsible for the dangerous products that hurt their child. With the right legal approach, these lawsuits can help compensate a family for the suffering their child has been through. This compensation can help a family afford to move forward from the accident.
At the Burch Law Firm, we attempt to help Texas families who are unfortunate to find themselves in this situation. When a defective toy causes injuries, our attorneys attempt to help guide our clients through a difficult process. As a family heals, we fight for the family’s rights. This can not only ensure that the family is justly compensated, but that this product won’t hurt other children in the future. For more information about how a product liability attorney at Burch Law Firm may be able to help dangerous children product victims, please see our website.
If your child was injured by a dangerous or defective toy, contact the New Braunfels dangerous toy attorneys of the Burch Law Firm today by calling 830-629-0955. Our attorneys are dedicated to helping the victims of negligent product manufacturers and designers fight for justice for the suffering they have needlessly endured.