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Gift Giving and the Dangers of Age-Inappropriate Toys

Holiday shopping to find the right gift for every person on your list can be a difficult task if you’re unsure of what they may enjoy. However, when it comes to shopping for children, we cannot rely solely on preference alone when making a gift selection. Based on a child’s age, some toys can pose substantial risk of injury to young children if a toy is not age appropriate, or well-made by the manufacturer.

Each year thousands of children under the age of 15 are sent to the emergency room for toy-related injuries. Nearly a third of them are children younger than five. In most cases, toy-related deaths are due to drowning or suffocation, and most injuries come in the form of lacerations or contusions. These preventable accidents are often the result of the toy not being suitable for the child’s age.

Some dangers of age-inappropriate toys:

  • Toys with small parts or complicated elements can cause choking.
  • Toys may contain magnets that can be extremely dangerous to children if swallowed, potentially leading to injuries such as intestinal perforation.
  • Toys may also have parts that children could get their fingers caught in, or have sharp edges that can cause cuts and bruises.

Tips for buying age-appropriate toys:

  1. Read the label. Warning labels give important information about how to use a toy and what ages the toy is safe for. Use these to then show the child how to use the toy properly.
  2. What’s it made of? Buy toys made from sturdy materials, and make sure the label says “nontoxic” and is free of lead paint.
  3. Avoid hobby kits and chemistry sets. These are not for any child younger than 12, especially kits that can cause fires or may contain dangerous chemicals.
  4. Think LARGE. Make sure all toys and parts are larger than the child’s mouth to prevent choking.

Because of the potential danger it’s important for both parents and gift-givers to be conscientious of whether the toys they want to give are safe and age appropriate for children. For babies (1 or younger) consider soft, solid toys, with rounded edges and no strings or loose parts. For toddlers (1-3 years) look into blocks, clay and large stackable toys without batteries. And for preschoolers (4-5 years) look for dress-up clothes, basic board games, simple art supplies and anything non-electric.

We hope that these tips help you avoid preventable holiday injuries. But if your child is injured due to a dangerous or age-inappropriate toy, you may be elligible for compensation for pain and suffering, medical bills, wrongful death and perhaps even reimbursed for the toy. If you have any questions, contact an experienced personal injury attorney from Hupy and Abraham today. Call 800-800-5678 for a free, no-obligations consultation, or you can start a live chat with us anytime at Hupy.com.