How to Avoid Toy Mishaps

December 7, 2016 - 5 minutes read

So it’s another weekday afternoon and your child is watching her favorite cartoon. During a commercial break, they show an advertisement for a zip line, just in time for Christmas. Your child proclaims, “I want it!” Christmas Day comes and one of the presents she unwraps is that very zip line toy-storeshe saw on TV. Once it’s set up, she takes her maiden voyage on the zip line from the roof to the fence of her yard. Before you know it, the line collapses a third of the way into her journey, causing her to fall to the ground and break her arm. Unfortunately, this scenario is not too far from reality; something similar happened to a zip line purchaser in Louisiana. There are steps that can be taken to prevent new toy mishaps from ruining Christmas.

If the child you are buying for doesn’t have a wish list and you are trying to figure out what to get him or her, there are some simple guidelines to adhere to in your gift shopping. One thing to keep in mind is the age of the child you are buying a toy or gift for. See if there are instructions on the packaging that speak to proper use of the item; based on the age of the child, the instructions should tell you if the item is age appropriate for them or not. While on the topic of age appropriateness, if the child you are buying for is under 8 years of age, try to stay away from toys or items that have parts that could break off or have points and edges that are sharp. It is also best to steer clear of any toys or items that have small parts that could become lodged inside a child’s throat; these are items that typically have warning labels or suggested age listings on the packaging.

When you’re at the store attempting to fulfill some of the items on your children’s wish list, there are some basics to follow to make sure that dream item doesn’t turn into a nightmare. If anything with wheels is on your child’s wish list, like bicycles, hoverboards, skateboards or scooters and they don’t already have a helmet, make sure you get one to go along with their wheeled gift. If a toy is an electronic gadget, something to be wary of are the batteries that power the device; the batteries tend to be small in size. If you can find a suitable alternative that doesn’t require “button” batteries, all the better. If you can’t, try to take some steps to ensure that the batteries are not easily accessible or draw their attention away from the area where the batteries are placed. Based on the age of your child, there are some toys that you should refuse to buy for them. Such toys would be a projectile, like a rocket or fires off a projectile, and a BB gun; these should only be purchased if you feel they will handle the item appropriately.

It turns out there are counterfeit toys that appear to be legit when you initially see them. The hot toys are typically the ones that get counterfeited the most. Two of the reasons counterfeit toys give rise for concern are the lack of quality in the product and the safety dangers they pose. Customs officers spotted a mini-ATV vehicle that did not have a required emissions system, and they also found a mini-car where the hubcaps came off the wheels rather easily. To help gift buyers from sinking money into these phony products, customs officers urge shoppers to only buy from reputable merchants and to pay attention to the price that is given versus the going retail price for that toy.

By adhering to some of these guidelines, you will go a long ways towards keeping those holiday smiles from sinking into frowns grimaces because of your gift. If you feel that you or a loved one was seriously hurt from a toy or other item that was given to you as a gift, feel free to reach out the Law Offices of Michael Cordova to see if there is anything that can be done to help.