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When Santa’s Sleigh Bears Bad Gifts

Written by Ankin Law Office

Ho, ho, ho can quickly become ow, ow, ow if Santa puts the wrong toys under the tree on Christmas morning. Each year children are injured by dangerous gifts, and gifts that aren’t suitable for their age. While parents and their helpers may be eager to buy junior the latest fad, they should be careful not to buy toys that can lead to serious injury or death.

This year’s most desired toy is the futuristic Hoverboard. While “cool,” it is the hottest toy around. Over 5,000 were sold on Black Friday alone. They sold out almost as fast as they can blow up. Many models of the Hoverboard are equipped with faulty batteries that can overheat and ignite in spectacular fireballs. These fires grow quickly, are difficult to extinguish, and emit toxic fumes as they burn. Coupled with the inherent risk of falls, Hoverboards are anything but child’s play.

Statistics from the National Fire Protection Association show that 30% of all home fires take place in December. These fires send nearly 6,000 people to the hospital with injuries. Moreover, fire is the greatest danger to children’s safety. Each year, 46% of childhood fatalities are from fires. Equally as concerning is that 39% of children’s accidents are the results of falls. Having a Hoverboard in the home needlessly increases these risks.

Drones are another item burning a hole in the bottom of Santa’s sleigh and sending people to personal injury lawyers. Small, fast, and readily available, drones pose a serious risk of injury. Hands can easily be cut by the fast-spinning blades and eyes can be “put out” by an errant drone. They can also cause a considerable amount of property damage in the hands of an unskilled pilot. For the reason, the FAA has decided to regulate drones weighing between .55 lbs and 55 lbs. The FAA made this decision more out of concern for airline safety than user safety. However, it does underscore the fact that drones are serious toys that children should never be allowed to operate without adult supervision.

It’s estimated that up to 250,000 children are injured or killed by dangerous toys every year. Common injuries include lacerations, burns, puncture wounds, broken bones, and strangulation. These risks highlight the importance of looking beyond the marketing, and looking at the safety of a particular toy. By looking at both construction specifics, company reputation, and safety ratings, parents can avoid purchasing potentially dangerous toys for their children.

Categories: Product Liability