Articles Posted in Dangerous toys

halloween safety

Trick-or-Treat: The Scary Truth About Halloween Injuries

Many Halloween traditions involve pumpkins, apple cider, and even a scary hayride, but we are going to bet there will be some neighborhood trick-or-treating involved too. And for the more than 41.1 million trick-or-treaters, the majority children ages 5 to 14, who hit U.S. doorsteps in 2017 requesting a Halloween treat, many injuries followed. This year, the attorneys at Levin & Perconti, especially those with young families of their own including Mike Bonamarte, Margaret Battersby Black, Marvet Sweis Drnovsek, AJ Thut, Jaime Koziol Delaney, and Pam Dimo thought it would be helpful to share a few easy ways our blog readers can protect children from injury while trick-or-treating this Halloween night.

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With the holiday season in full swing, local retail stores are especially busy. Crowds are large in this busiest shopping season of the year, especially for all the latest trends in fashion, technology, and the always popular toys for the little ones. In the time-old tradition of wrapping up new toys in shiny paper and bows under the tree, the youngest members of the family look forward to Christmas morning where they run to the tree in their pajamas and tear open the paper to discover new toys they have been gifted for being good little girls and boys. Year after year families look forward to this morning where they can sit around the tree and enjoy this time with their child loved ones in the family.

While we buy these toys for our youngest loved ones to bring them fun and joy, it is also important to know whether these toys will instead do the exact opposite and put these little ones in harm’s way instead. Unfortunately, there are many toys on the market currently that could actually bring danger to children and cause them injury, instead of providing the amusement and joy we intended to bring them. This is especially disheartening because these young people do not know to look out for dangers nor do they have the mental maturity to grasp a danger when one is before them. Instead, they trust that the toys they play with will not harm them.

Our lawyers care about keeping children safe from harm and in aiding parent/guardian consumers in protecting their young ones. That is why we choose to blog about potentially dangerous toys that are currently on the market and dangers to look out for. Under product liability law, it is the legal responsibility of a store and manufacturer to provide safe goods to consumers. This means that they must inspect products for defects and dangers, remove dangerous goods from the market, and warn consumers of discovered dangers. Where consumers are injured as a result of a store or manufacturer failing to do any of the above, the consumer can hold the store and manufacturer accountable for their injuries and suffering in a product liability lawsuit.
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There are all sorts of fun and entertaining products made specifically for children. However, when products made for children are dangerous and defective and pose a risk for injury or death, that fun is quickly diminished and replaced with fear. Our attorneys believe that parents and children should not have to live with a fear of whether or not the products they use are safe or will cause them serious harm. For that reason we both bring our readers news about product recalls and continue to fight for these dangerous products to be removed from the marketplace through product liability lawsuits.

In product liability cases, companies and manufacturers can be held liable if their dangerous or defective product was the cause of injury or death. In order to hold a commercial entity liable, a plaintiff must prove that the company knew about the defect but failed to remove the item from the marketplace, failed to properly inspect the product for defects they would have otherwise discovered, and/or failed to warn consumers about known dangers. If a plaintiff can establish these factors, they can recover compensation for their injuries or for the wrongful death of a loved one.

Imagine back to when you were little. As a small child you often looked forward to Saturday morning to wake up and grab a bowl of your favorite cereal and watch Saturday morning cartoons. Oftentimes you probably did this in a bean bag chair to be cozy and close to the television.
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While children are young and still learning about the world around them, their adult parents and guardians must look after their well-being and teach them safe habits. It is common for a parent to teach their child important safety lesson such as to stay away from the stove to avoid being burned from the hot surface, to not run by a pool for risk of falling and being hurt, or not to put certain toys and other objects near their mouth or eyes for risk of choking or poking their eyes. However, sometimes these warnings may fall on deaf ears and children are young and cannot appreciate the severity of dangers around them, or like other humans, learn from experiences.

This is common knowledge to most everyone that children learn by physically, visually, and tactilely experiencing their environment. With this knowledge, manufacturers of toys, clothes, and other products are aware of children’s common behaviors, such as putting objects in their mouths. By having this knowledge, companies have a legal duty to not manufacture products for children that could cause them harm through their everyday behaviors and habits. When companies fail to take measures to protect children, and children are injured as a result of this neglect to properly manufacture a product accordingly, the company can be held liable in a product liability lawsuit.

According to recent news by the Columbus CEO, Maxfield & Oberton Holdings, the maker of Buckyballs, has been ordered by the Consumer Product Safety Commission to recall their product. This is following a two-year effort to get Buckyballs off of the market. For those unfamiliar with Buckyballs, they are sets of tiny yet powerful magnetic sticking balls. The commission argues that the high-powered magnets pose an ingestion hazard to children. Because the balls are significantly stronger than most magnets, they could pose a greater danger if they are swallowed.
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Most parents already have a lot to worry about regarding their children’s playtime and potential injuries, from falling off their bicycles to getting hurt on the swings and jungle gym and many other possibilities that result in typical childhood injuries involving band-aids, stitches, and signed casts. However, until now, most parents probably were not concerned or even considered the possibility that their children could fly away while at play. However, thanks to all of the recent news involving bounce house injuries; this is now one more cause for concern for parents.

From birthday parties, local fairs, and school events, we have all seen the beloved bounce houses that so many have enjoyed during their youth. However, recent news stories have reported on a lack of safety precautions that have caused these inflated houses to literally fly away with children still inside. According to one report by NBC News, one bounce house took off and rolled hundreds of feet with two children inside. Set up at a lacrosse field, the wind picked up and caused the house with an attached inflatable slide to tumble down the field. Witnesses looked on fearfully and described the incident like a plastic bag caught in the wind. Several attempted to save the children and run after the rolling bounce house. When the house took flight, one girl was on board the slide and flew eight feet into the air. According to the local fire department, the house traveled between 200 to 300 feet before coming to a stop in a nearby pond. The children inside the bounce house required medical attention. It was reported that winds at the time were about 30 mph, which makes many question why the bounce house was not secured for the conditions.

In another incident, also reported by NBC News, a bounce house soared over twenty feet into the air with three children still inside. Two required hospitalization for serious personal injuries. Although staked to the ground, wind uprooted this bounce house and caused it to take flight. Witnesses compared the event like a horror movie as they looked on, unable to help the children inside the bounce house that flew higher than the surrounding buildings and trees. One boy fell from the house and landed in the street. Another landed in a nearby apartment parking lot after hitting his head on a car and falling to the ground.
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Our Illinois personal injury lawyers were concerned to read that Build-A-Bear Workshop, an American retailer of stuffed animals, has recalled approximately 300,000 ‘Colorful Hearts’ teddy bears sold across the United States and Canada. The Consumer Product Safety Commission said of the recall, the bears’ eyes can loosen and fall out which creates a choking hazard for children.

Although no injuries have yet been reported, the risk of harm to children is overwhelming; if even one child chokes to death because of the manufacturing error, it’s one too many.

Illinois product liability lawsuits arise when manufactures and distributors of products disseminate dangerous, defective, or contaminated products to the public, and persons are harmed as a result. The corporations may then be held legally responsible for any injuries caused by the flawed merchandise.

Our Chicago personal injury lawyers were troubled to hear of recent reports indicating that stress-relieving office toys may be a potentially fatal hazard to children.

According to a report by the Chicago Tribune, federal regulators are warning parents that magnet beads, like those found in Magnetix Building Sets, are a deadly threat to children. The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission released a statement saying that they have received 17 reports since 2009 in which these small pellets were swallowed by children; of those 17 cases, 11 required surgery to remove the magnets from the child’s system.

When children ingest these high-powered magnets, the magnets attract to each other inside the body, which may lead to blockages in the digestion system, small holes in the walls of the lining of the stomach and intestines, blood poisoning, and other potentially fatal injuries.

Our Chicago injury lawyers read about several Illinois children who were transported to area hospitals after sustaining personal injuries when an inflatable slide tipped over on a junior elementary school playground. Fortunately, none of the fifth-graders’ personal injuries were life-threatening. However, the school reported that one child sustained a head injury in the playground accident when their head hit the asphalt. That same child reported dizziness. Some students also had bloody lips. The students were on an inflatable slide that appeared to tip over, causing the children to fall onto the asphalt. The slide was roughly fifteen feet high and there were fifty students outside at the time.

While many head injuries are harmless, they have to be taken very seriously because of risk of brain injury. Often times, parents wonder if their child needs medical attention after a head injury. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that parents contact their child’s healthcare provider for advance for anything more than a light bump on the head. Additionally, children with the following symptoms should be evaluated by a healthcare provider: recurrent vomiting, seizures, loss of consciousness, headaches, behavioral changes, clumsiness, confusion, dizziness that does not resolve, or if the child fell from a height greater than five feet. These symptoms may indicate head injury complication.
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The American Association for Justice reported that unforeseen hazards continue to be present in toys despite recently improved safety standards, demonstrated the necessity for a strong civil justice system that protects children who may be personally injured from such toys. The strong civil justice system must also hold negligent manufacturers accountable. For years, corporations have knowingly shipped unsafe toys with hidden dangers like small parts, loose magnets, asbestos, and other toxic chemicals until outrage from parents and civil actions forced regulators or manufacturers to act. As toys have become more sophisticated, so too have the risks associated with them. As American Association for Justice President reported, protecting our children requires vigilance from everyone. Regulators, parents, manufacturers, and the civil justice system all play a part in keeping dangerous toys off store shelves.

Our Chicago injury attorneys want to highlight recent product recalls that may affect children on your holiday gift lists. Rocking Horse Depot’s small, medium, and large rocking horses with bridles have been recalled because the reins on the rocking horse are long enough to form a loop around a child’s head and neck, posing a strangulation hazard to young children. Additionally, Big Ideas Marketing has issued a product recall to the horse-on-a-stick toys sold at Love’s Travel and Country stores due to a strangulation hazard. Also concerning is that Munchkin, Inc. has issued a product recall for bathtub toys due to a risk of injury. The intake valve on the bottom of the submarine toy can such up loose skin, posing a laceration hazard to children.

Keep up to date on product recalls by visiting the Consumer Product Safety Commission website.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced several product recalls this month and the month is not even over. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of serious injury or death from thousands of types of consumer products and frequently announces product recalls. First, in cooperation with the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), Circus World has recalled wireless video baby monitors due to overheating hazard. Wiring in the baby monitor camera can overheat and emit smoke, posing a burn hazard to consumers. Second, P. Graham Dunn in cooperation with the U.S. CPSC has recalled nearly 500 wooden toy rattles, which pose a serious choking hazard to young children. Third, the U.S. CPSC and Asurion have voluntarily recalled about 470,000 counterfeit Blackberry-branded cell phone batteries in refurbished devices; the batteries can overheat, posing burn and fire hazards.

Additionally, the US CPSC and LG Electronics have reannounced the Goldstar and Comfort-Aire dehumidifier recall, which affects about 98,000 dehumidifiers. The power connector for the dehumidifer’s compressor can short circuit and pose serious fire and burn hazards to consumers. Another fire hazard product recall involved the Bosch Thermotechnology Boiler Survey Kit. The recall affects about 1500 service kit for gas-fired boilers. The use of a silver-covered gas pipe adapter included in the service kit can lead to gas leakage, which can pose a fire or explosion hazard to consumers. Miami Breaker, Inc. has also voluntarily recalled products due to fire hazard. Their product recall involves about 43,600 counterfeit “Square D” circuit breakers, which can fail to trip when they are overloaded.

To read more about recent product recalls, please visit the CPSC website.

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