Dangerous Toys

W.A.T.C.H. Out! 2016 Summer Safety for Children

28 June 2016

On June 28th, the consumer advocacy group W.A.T.C.H. (World Against Toys Causing Harm, Inc.) presented its 2016 Summer Safety Report at its annual “Safe Fun in the Sun” conference at Franciscan Children’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts.

The conference addressed “Summer Safety Traps” of common outdoor activities and highlighted some of the many different types of hazards of which parents and caregivers should be aware in order to prevent potentially life-threatening injuries to children this summer. One of the primary goals of this conference was to increase awareness about hazards associated with some summer recreational activities and products so that these incidences become less frequent. There are especially high rates of child injuries during the summer in particular, when almost half of all injury-related deaths in children occur, according to W.A.T.C.H.

Some of the summer activities that were discussed at the conference included swimming and drowning hazards, toys made for outdoor play like remote helicopters and other flying objects, realistic-looking toy guns, projectile toys, and “hoverboards”, the motorized two-wheeled scooters that have gained particular popularity over the past year.

If you have questions about children’s toys or products, please contact an attorney at Swartz & Swartz, P.C.

W.A.T.C.H. Out! Summer Hazards for Children

2 July 2015

There are thousands of toy related injuries each year, nearly half of which occur during the summer months. World Against Toys Causing Harm, Inc. (W.A.T.C.H) is a non-profit organization which focuses on educating the public on the dangers to children from the use of many children’s products. See http://toysafety.org/about/need-for-action/

At a press conference at Franciscan Hospital for Children in Boston, Consumer Advocates Joan E. Siff, President of W.A.T.C.H., and James A. Swartz, a nationally known trial attorney and Director of W.A.T.C.H., discussed their summer safety concerns, including some lesser-known warm weather safety “traps” and recreational products that parents need to avoid to help prevent tragic accidents this season. The summer safety traps focused on pool-related warnings that could help prevent severe injuries or even death. W.A.T.C.H. also highlighted safety concerns regarding summer type activities such as, inflatable recreational products, backyard trampolines, realistic toy guns, and pool covers. When it comes to water safety, caregivers and parents have to be vigilant, making sure there are multiple barriers of protection that are working correctly. Siff and Swartz both stated that “the combination of warm weather and school vacation is an opportunity for children to enjoy the outdoors, but can also be a time for injuries.” For the complete article please visit, http://toysafety.org/press-release-6915/.

Although much of the focus is in the summer months right now, dangerous toys account for a number of deaths of children year round. Please do not assume that because a toy is available for sale online or at your local retailer, that it is necessarily safe for your children. Carefully inspect the toy ahead of time whenever possible, and read all packaging and labels, including warnings and instructions.

Bunnies by the Bay Pull Toys Recalled

17 June 2015

On June 16, 2015, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) issued a recall for about 800 Bunnies by the Bay Bud and Skipit Wheely Cute Pull Toys (pictured above). The CPSC report states that the hub cap on the wheels of these toys could break or come off of the wheels, posing a choking hazard for young children.

Choking incidents related to dangerous toys account for numerous deaths and injuries of young children each year. Please do not assume that because a toy is available for sale online or at your local retailer, that it is necessarily safe for your children. Carefully inspect they toy ahead of time whenever possible, and read all packaging and labels, including warnings and instructions. If you or your loved ones have questions about these particular children’s toys, or any other children’s toys or products, please contact an attorney at Swartz & Swartz, P.C. We will answer any questions you may have and can advise regarding your legal rights. Call (617) 742-1900 in the Boston area, or for clients in greater Massachusetts, New England, or other states across the U.S., call toll-free at 1-800-545-3732.

Hazards Lurking In The Toy Aisle This Holiday Season

4 December 2014

Parents and caregivers should be aware that many toy hazards can be found on toy shelves this holiday season. Some dangers may be evident, however many hidden hazards exist. Please be sure you are informed about what hazards to look for, and importantly – do not assume a toy is safe merely because it is offered for sale. In some instances, testing is inadequate. Also, many existing regulations are inadequate, or have loopholes that allow defective toys to make their way into homes and schools.

A dangerous toy may have been poorly manufactured or designed, misleadingly advertised, inaccurately labeled, or irresponsibly sold to or for children, many of whom are too young to appreciate the toy’s hazards.

The non-profit organization World Against Toys Causing Harm, Inc. (W.A.T.C.H.) has been at the forefront of child safety issues for decades. Please check out its website at www.toysafety.org for this year’s “Ten Worst Toys” list, as well as other safety tips and information. A recent article regarding the 2014 list, as well as important related issues, can be found at http://www.nationaljournal.com/health-care/the-most-dangerous-toys-in-america-20141202

Cork Block Stacking Toys Recalled Due to Choking Hazard

28 February 2014

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On February 26, 2014 the Consumer Product Safety Commission announced a recall of about 720 Cork Stacker block sets. Small pieces of cork can break off the blocks, posing a choking hazard to young children.

This recall involves a three-piece cork block stacking toy imported by manufactured by A Harvest Company, of Huntley, Illinois, and sold online by StorkStack.com. The toy was sold for babies as young as six months, an age that is particularly prone to potential choking hazards. There were at least seven (7) reports of cork pieces breaking off of the blocks, including two reports of children mouthing the cork pieces.

Choking and ingestion hazards in children’s toys and other juvenile products account for numerous deaths and injuries each year. A dangerous toy may have been poorly manufactured or designed, misleadingly advertised, inaccurately labeled, or irresponsibly sold to or for children, many of whom are too young to appreciate the toy’s hazards.

If you or a member of your family has questions about a dangerous toy, please contact us. We will answer any questions you might have, and can advise regarding your legal rights.

 

Infant Pacifiers Recalled Due to Choking Hazard

7 February 2014

On January 30, 2014, the Consumer Products Safety Commission recalled about 200,000 (in the United States and Canada Fred & Friends Chill Baby Artiste, Volume and Panic pacifiers. These pacifiers reportedly failed to comply with federal safety standards. Specifically, the beard on the Artiste and the knob on the Volume pacifiers can detach, posing a choking hazard to infants. Furthermore, the ventilation holes on the Volume and Panic pacifier guards are too small.

This recall involves three styles of Fred & Friends Chill Baby pacifiers, including the Artiste with a black plastic beard and mustache, Volume with a black volume control knob  and Panic with a red panic button. The pacifier’s name and UPC are printed on the packaging.  These products were sold at department stores, gift, drug, toy, baby product, grocery and home decorating stores, and hospital, museum gift shops nationwide and various websites in 2013.

Small-parts hazards are of particular concern regarding products that are intended for use by babies, with the expectation babies will put the items in their mouths. Such reported defects are a stark reminder that toys and children’s products reaching retail shelves are not necessarily safe. Parents and caregivers should carefully inspect any such products before giving them to children.

If you have questions or concerns about pacifiers, or other toys or children’s products, please contact us. We will answer any questions you might have, and can advise regarding your legal rights.

Baby Rattles Recalled by Midwest-CBK Due to Choking Hazard

24 January 2014

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On January 22, 2014, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recalled about 1,900 donut-shaped polyester knit fabric baby rattles with heads and arms to resemble a bear, monkey and a lion. The head on the rattle can detach, posing a choking hazard to young children. The rattles were imported and distributed by Midwest-CBK LLC, of Cannon Falls, Minnesota, and were sold at small gift stores from July 2013 through December 2013 for about $10.

Small-parts hazards are of particular concern regarding products that are intended for use by babies, with the expectation babies will put the items in their mouths. Such reported defects are a stark reminder that toys and children’s products reaching retail shelves are not necessarily safe. Parents and caregivers should carefully inspect any such products before giving them to children.

If you have questions or concerns about baby rattles, or other toys or children’s products, please contact us. We will answer any questions you might have, and can advise regarding your legal rights.

Holiday Season Toy Alert: Recall of Doodlebutt Toys Due to “Serious” Ingestion Hazard

16 December 2013

Parents and caregivers should be forewarned this holiday season – some toys that are attractive to oral-age children, including products resembling food or candy, could have small parts that are dangerous.

For example, on December 12, 2013, about 1,500 water-absorbing polymer toys made in China were recalled by Florida distributor Doodlebutt. They were sold on Amazon.com from February 2012 through September 2013 for about $9. These soft and colorful products can be mistaken by a child for candy. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), when swallowed, they can expand inside a child’s body and cause intestinal obstructions, resulting in severe discomfort, vomiting, dehydration and could be life threatening. Similar toys have not shown up on x-rays and needed surgery to be removed from the body.

This recall involves Doodlebutt Jelly BeadZ Jumbo BeadZ and Magic Growing Fruity Fun water-absorbing polymer toys. The toys can absorb from 300 to 500 times their weight in water and can grow up to eight times their original size. CPSC is aware of at least one incident with a similar water-absorbing polymer ball product in which an 8-month-old girl ingested the ball and it had to be surgically removed, and two cases outside of the U.S. with one death.

Sadly, choking and ingestion hazards in children’s toys and other juvenile products account for numerous deaths and injuries each year. A dangerous toy may have been poorly manufactured or designed, misleadingly advertised, inaccurately labeled, or irresponsibly sold to or for children, many of whom are too young to appreciate the toy’s hazards.

If you or a member of your family has questions about a dangerous toy, please contact us. We will answer any questions you might have, and can advise regarding your legal rights.

Manhattan Group Recalls Baby Rattles Due to Choking Hazard

5 December 2013

baby rattle

On December 04, 2013,  Manhattan Toy® Quixel™ baby rattles were recalled as the result of finding that the product’s colored arches can break, creating a small part which poses a choking hazard to small children. About 8,300 of these children’s products were sold in the U.S., and another 4,100 were sold in Canada

The plastic rattles have four, colored arches (red, orange, green and blue) with sliding beads on each of the arches. The arches are held together by a single string of red, white and blue elastic.  The rattle arches measure about 5 inches in diameter.  The product was sold with or without a box. “Manhattan Toy” is printed on one of the arches.

The manufacturer received at least four reports of the rattles breaking.

Tragically, defective children’s products sold for use by the most innocent and unsuspecting consumers – babies and young children – can cause death and debilitating injury. At Swartz & Swartz, P.C., we have long been a leader in the fight to rid our country’s store shelves and toy boxes of unsafe playthings and children’s products. In the process, we have helped bring about improved standards, toy recalls, and safer designs.

If you or a member of your family has suffered serious injuries due to a defective toy or children’s product, or if you have questions or concerns regarding a product, please contact us. We are here to answer your questions and discuss how to protect your legal rights. You can set up an initial consultation with one of the product liability attorneys at our Boston office by calling (617) 742-1900, or toll-free at 1-800-545-3732.

By James A. Swartz of Swartz & Swartz, P.C.Permalink

Sound Baby Monitors Recalled After Two Deaths Due to Strangulation Hazard

22 November 2013

 

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On November 21, 2013 the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced the recall of 600,000 Angelcare Movement and Sound Monitors with Sensor Pads. The cord attached to the baby monitor’s sensor pad is placed under the crib mattress, which poses a strangulation risk if the child pulls the cord into the crib and it becomes wrapped around the neck.

In February 2011, CPSC issued a safety alert warning consumers that industry-wide there had been seven reports of strangulation in baby monitor cords since 2002.  Since that alert, the number of death reports has risen to eight of which two involved the Angelcare monitors with sensor cords. Specifically, Angelcare and CPSC received reports of two infant cord strangulation deaths. In November 2011, a 13-month-old female died in San Diego, California, and, in August 2004, an 8-month-old female died in Salem, Oregon.  In both fatalities, the cord from the sensor pads was pulled into the crib by the infant. In addition, there have been two reports of infants who became entangled in cords of Angelcare baby monitor models.

The recall involves the Movement and Sound Monitor manufactured by Angelcare. This design of baby monitor includes a unique sensor pad placed inside the crib, under the mattress, to monitor movement of the baby.  An electrical cord about 11 feet long is permanently connected from the sensor pad to the nursery monitor unit. The hazard is created by a cord within reach of a baby inside the crib. The cord can be pulled into the crib and can wrap around the child’s neck.

The recalled baby monitors were sold at Babies R Us/Toys R Us, Burlington Coat Factory, Meijer, Sears, Walmart, Amazon.com, Target.com, Overstock.com, and nearly 70 small baby specialty stores, from October 1999 through September 2013.

Even one act of negligence during the process from a product’s conception to its sale can cause catastrophic injuries and wrongful death once the product reaches unsuspecting consumers. Strangulation and choking hazards are of particular concerns regarding unsuspecting babies, who often mouth or pull on items within their reach. If you or a family member have questions about a suspected defective baby or children’s product, contact the law office of Swartz & Swartz, P.C. Call (617) 742-1900 in the Boston area, or for clients in greater Massachusetts, New England, or other states across the U.S., call toll-free at 1-800-545-3732.

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