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Should Pennsylvania parents be concerned about toy safety?

A new toy can provide hours of fun and joy to a Pennsylvania child, making the gift of new toy seem harmless. Toy design and manufacture have evolved through the years. At times commercial success takes a backseat to structural integrity of a toy, making toys a potential source of danger rather than enjoyment for a child. For this reason, it is important for all parents, including Pennsylvania parents, to be more discerning of the toys they give their children.

According to recent statistics from the Consumer Product Safety Commission, more than 256,000 injuries treated in hospitals across the United States resulted from the use of defective toys. Almost 75 percent of that number involved children who were younger than 15 years old. Children who were younger than 5 years old accounted for about 83,700 of the figure.

What are the toys that lead to the most injuries and fatalities? According to CPSC statistics, riding toys like tricycles accounted for 22 percent of fatalities. However, stuffed toys, dolls and the accessories that come with them accounted for the most deaths. Children either experienced choking or died from suffocation. Previously, balloons served as a primary reason for death because of their choking hazard. In terms of injuries, 43 percent sustained abrasions, contusions and lacerations with almost half of these injuries occurring on the child's face and head area, while 24 percent of children incurred injuries on their arms.

Can toy sellers or manufacturers be held accountable for a defective or dangerous toy? Yes. Pennsylvania parents, with the help of a product liability attorney, can file a product liability lawsuit in order to hold a negligent party liable. The legal action may lead to compensation to help a child recover from injuries. Parents can also file a lawsuit if the child dies due to injury from use of a defective toy.

Source: Cpsc.gov, "Toy-Related Deaths and Injuries Calendar Year 2013," accessed on Jan. 5, 2015

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