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While the season for toy shopping is well under way, West Virginia parents may want to consider the safety of toys before purchasing them. A recent report revealed the results of a study on children treated for injuries caused by toys between 1990 and 2011. The study did not include fatalities or children who were treated at doctors’ offices or private care centers. Only the cases treated at emergency departments of American hospitals were included. The numbers are staggering and translate to a child suffering injury caused by a dangerous or defective product every third minute.

It was reported that ride-on toys are to be blamed for most of the injuries. The new light-weight kick scooters that were introduced to the toy market in 1999 apparently caused a significant increase in toy-related injuries, and parents are advised to include helmets and protective pads when they purchase foot-powered scooters. These scooters have caused many injuries in children over 6 years old.

However, a significant percentage of the emergencies involved children younger than 6 years old. Smaller children spend the majority of their time inside the house and are, therefore, threatened by dangerous toys that are commonly kept inside. Babies and toddlers have to be supervised while they play, as they tend to put everything in their mouths, and the detachable parts of toys pose a choking hazard.

West Virginia parents may want to check government recall websites before they go toy shopping. However, not every defective product is recalled, and toys should be thoroughly inspected for injury hazards. In cases where children have suffered injuries as the result of dangerous toys, the parents retain the right to file a product liability claim against the importer or manufacturer, along with distributors and retailers of the product that caused the injury. Full and fair compensation may be obtained in successfully presented cases.

Source: CNN, “Toy-related injuries send a record number of kids to the E.R.“, Henry Kimball, Dec. 4, 2014