Toys should always be safe when a parent hands one to their child. With everything that a parent must worry about for their child, defective toys should not be one of them. The following article contains valuable information for parents, both to persevere through and prevent an injury involving your children.
- Choking hazards — Many toys are, by their very nature small and designed as such for small hands. However, toys that by design are small enough that they can be swallowed unintentionally are still dangerous. So are toys that break apart into smaller components. It's imperative that parents be mindful of the age-appropriateness of any toy they give to their children. Toys that are appropriate for older children may have small, swallowable parts that younger siblings could choke on.
- Toxic materials — The most famous toxic material ever used on children's toys was lead, and for good reason. Lead isn't the only toxic material that can be present in a toy, nor is paint the only medium to transfer a poisonous substance. Battery acid leaking through a wristwatch and burning a child's skin is also toxic.
- Dangerous moving parts — There are numerous reasons why a toy will have moving parts by design. Those same designs must take into consideration what should happen if they come into contact with small fingers and body parts. Within the design, there should be safety releases or other safety mechanisms in place to reduce the chances of injury.
- Excessive noise — Various toys may feature sound effects to enhance the playtime experience for children. While commendable, the volume and decibels of those effects must designed so as not to harm young ears.
The Burden Of Proof In Defective Toy Claims
- Proof the toy was defective.
This is a critical aspect of the burden of proof and your claim, the second and third parts of the four hinge upon the toy being proven to be defective. In cases where your child has been clearly and obviously injured by a defective toy by the view of the court, this may be the only aspect of the four that is necessary for a case.
B. Child was injured due to negligence in the toy's design.
If a child can be injured by a toy when using it properly in the manner for which it was intended, that design flaw is negligence. It's one thing if a precocious child plays with a toy in a way designers couldn't have imagined, but quite another if the child is using the toy the way it was meant to be.
C. The design or manufacture of the item made it defective.
Whether through the way the toy is produced or the way in which it was designed proves dangerous or unsustainable, it is defective. Being unable to do what should be able to do, also constitutes the item being defective. Other qualities could be finishes that are toxic, or toys that break when played with in an appropriate fashion.
- Your child's injuries have cause for compensable damages.
These kinds of damages are meant to compensate the child for the injury sustained. This can include medical bills, but it can also cover other events for which your child should be compensated for. For instance, if your child was handicapped by the injury they sustained from the toy, it's possible for them to awarded compensable damages for lost earning potential over the course of their lifetime. Emotional distress may also be awardable, if the injury will forever change how they lead their life.