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Study focuses on dangers of toy-related injuries to children

A study that is being referred to as a landmark study has revealed that every three minutes in the United States, a child receives emergency room medical treatment for a toy-related injury. The research focused on the period of time from 1990 to 2011 and on what types of toys led to injuries in individuals under 18 years old. The injury rate rose by 22 percent during the period that was studied.

Smaller children are more at risk for choking hazards and older children are at greater risk of falling from riding toys. According to researchers, 42 percent of injuries suffered by children 5 to 17 years old resulted from riding toys while choking hazards accounted for 14 incidents per day for children under the age of 5. Overall, the most common ways that children suffered toy-related injuries were due to falls, which accounted for 46 percent, and collisions, which accounted for 22 percent.

Not only did dangerous toys result in injuries but defective toys did as well. Though many are recalled, consumers are commonly unaware of recalls, defects and dangers. During 2007, for instance, 104 types of dangerous children's toys were recalled accounting for 30 million toys. Because of the dangers of toys such as foot-powered scooters, there has been a push to evaluate the product designs and safety standards of toy companies. Researchers believe that the study underestimates the number of toy-related injuries because, pointing to one weakness of the study, it only evaluated injuries treated in emergency rooms and not toy-related injuries that may not have been treated in emergency rooms.

Children come into contact with toys each day during their growth and development and as a part of the process of play. When a child has been harmed by a dangerous or defective toy, products liability law steps in to help the family of the child. Depending on the circumstances, there are a number of different bases that allow families to bring a claim for damages following a toy-relate injury. Products liability law and options allow victims and families to recover damages for the physical, emotional and financial harm suffered following an accident involving a dangerous or defective product.

Source: Newsweek, "Every Three Minutes, a Child Sustains a Toy Related Injury: Study," Paula Mejia, Dec. 1, 2014

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