Our Chicago personal injury lawyers have become all to familiar with the dangers posed by unsafe or defective children products. This week, Stork Craft announced the recall of over 2.1 million drop-side cribs due to the safety hazard posed to infants — four babies have allegedly suffocated due to the defective cribs. Last week, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (“CPSC”) held a town hall meeting in New York to remind parents about toy safety for children as the holiday shopping season kicks off.
The recent crib recall is the largest ever recall involving cribs. However, the recall of drop-side cribs should come as no surprise to those familiar with the danger posed by drop-side cribs. In the past two years, five million such cribs have been recalled following the deaths of at least 12 infants. Inez Tenenbaum, Chair of the CPSC, stated the CPSC is aware of “15 instances and four deaths because children have become entrapped in the drop sides.” The CPSC is considering an outright ban on all drop-side cribs.
This blog previously discussed new Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) that took effect in August of this year, including changes to lead paint levels on children’s’ toys, new tracking requirements and new monetary penalties. Those new rules, as well as toy-related injury data from 2008, were reviewed at the recent town hall meeting.
Injuries from defective products can cause harm, and in the worst cases, death. Serious injuries from defective products fall under the category of law known as product liability. There are specific criteria that must be met for a products liability case, so it is important to consult an experienced personal injury lawyer about your case.
The 2008 Toy-Related Deaths and Injuries Report states that there were roughly 235,300 toy-related injuries treated in emergency rooms across the nation. Toy-related injuries are often the result of misuse, or use by children too young for a particular toy. Injuries include choking on small parts, and injuries to the head, face, eyes and other parts of the body. The report states there were 19 toy-related deaths in 2008, and that most toy-related injury deaths as a result of drowning, motor vehicle involvement or airway constriction from small toy parts.
The 2008 report also shows that riding toys continue to be associated with more emergency room visits than any other category of toy. Falls are common with riding toys, and can be deadly, so it is important to purchase properly safety equipment, such as a helmet, elbow and kneepads. The CPSC also clarifies that the safety equipment must be “sized to fit” in order for the equipment to properly protect children.
The holidays are meant to be a joyful occasion, and toys are meant to help bring joy to children. Most often toys are safe, and with attention paid to other factors, such as discarding packaging immediately and not letting young children play with big kid toys, most serious injuries can be avoided.
Sometimes, however, a toy or other product is defective due to manufacture or design error, not because of inappropriate use. If someone you love has been seriously injured by a defective toy or other product, contact a top injury and wrongful death attorney at Passen & Powell today. Call us at (312) 527-4500 for a Free Consultation.