It is every parent’s worst nightmare: your child is happily playing with a new toy when, suddenly, disaster strikes. Perhaps there is a small, detachable part, perhaps the edges are too sharp or perhaps the toy contains or is coated with a hazardous substance. Whatever the case, such incidents could cause devastating harm to your child.

Manufacturers have a responsibility to ensure that all the products they produce meet certain safety standards. Unfortunately, not all companies abide by these rules and often it is the consumer, or their child, who pays the price. In a previous post we considered the parties that may be responsible in the event of a product liability case. It is important to keep this information in mind if your child is harmed.

Toys and other play equipment should all be durable and safely assembled. If you are concerned about one of your child’s toys, a few things to look out for include the following:

  • Sharp edges or corners, which can wound your child.
  • Lead-based paints, as these can cause lead-poisoning.
  • Small parts on which your child could choke.
  • Loose wheels on toy bicycles, wagons or similar objects; the toy may tip over, causing injuries.
  • Exposed wires or other electrical hazards, which put your child at risk of being shocked.

Of course, there are many other potential defects or design flaws that could endanger your child. Even packaging can be a hazard if it is not handled correctly. As such, it is vital to keep a careful eye on your child, even when he or she is simply playing with toys. Furthermore, if an accident occurs, it is important to challenge the manufacturer about the flaw in its product. Our page on unsafe toys has more information on the steps you can take if your child is harmed by a defective product.