When a child receives a new toy, it takes very little time for them to rip into its package and begin playing with it. While, as parents, we want to reward our children and for them to be excited to play with the toys we give them, we have to balance those sentiments with being cautious.
Warning labels, despite having existed on a product’s packaging for decades, are not all that different from a warning sign posted on a piece of land. It warns consumers of the dangers associated with playing with a particular product. While many warnings are read and heeded by customers, many are not. Some warning labels are either incomplete or inaccurate as well.
In either case, parents are seen as being responsible for reading and making purchase decisions based on what they read on the product’s warning label. In doing so, they are called upon to use their own best judgement to assess whether an item is safe enough to give their child.
The Consumer Products Safety Commission (CSPC) regulates not only the testing of certain toys for potential hazards, but what type warning labels they receive. For example, toys made for toddlers under 3 in particular must undergo a series of third party abuse tests aimed at seeing if they pose a choking hazard before receiving lab certification.
To determine a toy’s risk level, the CSPC employs the use of a small and relatively simple plastic cylinder that mimics the size of a throat of a child 3-years-old or younger. If any part of the toy can fit fully inside the test cylinder or breaks off during testing, it becomes a banned product.
Aside from products labeled for children under three, all balloons are required to be labeled as potentially hazardous. Magnets must also be labeled, first and foremost because they pose a threat to people with certain cardiac conditions. Additionally earth magnets, if more than one is swallowed, can affix themselves to one another creating an obstruction in an individual’s intestines as well.
If you suspect that your child has been harmed as the result of having played with a toy with incomplete or inaccurate warnings of potential danger, a Waco, Texas, products liability attorney can advise you in your legal matter.
Source: consumersafety.org, “Understanding toy safety labels,” Douglas Pinheiro, accessed April 12, 2017