After being cooped up during one of New England’s harshest winters yet, children cannot wait to get outside and play in the warm summer air. Kids are eager to bring out their new toys and expend all their energy in the park until their parents turn the porch light on for dinner at dusk. The last thing any parent should have to question is whether a toy is safe for their child to use, but yet that very thought remains a very real threat. Each year, thousands of children are injured as a result of an unsafe toy or play structure, and parents are left wondering how this could happen with a product they were supposed to be able to trust.
Consumer advocacy group World Against Toys Causing Harm, Inc. (W.A.T.C.H.). estimates that “nearly half of all injury-related deaths in children happen in the summer months.” The group has released their annual summer safety advisory list containing popular children’s toys that could potentially cause harm to kids using them.
The Inflatable Bounce House
By now, the popular summer fixture has become infamous thanks to several recent instances in which a bounce house was not properly secured, or an unknown malfunction occurred, causing the inflatable structure to become caught up in a strong wind, lifting it several hundred feet in the air with children trapped inside. According to WATCH, there have been four deaths in the past five years that can be attributed to the play structure. In addition, the consumer group says a staggering 31,069 injuries occurred in those five years, with 91% of them specifically taking place inside an inflatable bounce house. A word of advice from WATCH: Avoid these structures.
Make sure the baby gates in your home are properly installed and secured to prevent potential serious injury to the little ones running around. WATCH warns that injuries attributed to baby gates have more than tripled in the past 20 years. On average, five children per day are injured by improperly secured or used baby gates. The group cautions specially against pressure-mounted gates that can easily detach from the doorways to which they are mounted. Pressure-mounted gates are especially dangerous on stairways, near pools, or other bodies of water.
Though it should be obvious, safety advocates cannot stress enough the importance of diligent supervision of children when swimming. Water wings and other flotation devices do not replace careful supervision, but are merely meant to supplement a parent’s watchful eye. Drowning is by far the number one cause of death in children from one to four years of age. WATCH cautions that such “floaties” can provide “a false sense of security.” Statistics show that an average of nine people drown each day, and one in four of those victims is a child under the age of 14.
Toy manufacturers, as well as consumer products manufacturers as a whole have a responsibility to produce and distribute products that are safe for consumers to use. When manufacturers fail to ensure product safety, the responsibility for any customer injury rests on their shoulders. At the law offices of Altman & Altman, LLP our Boston Products Liability Attorneys have decades of experience handling all types of personal injury and products liability cases, and have a reputation of successfully obtaining the compensation our clients deserve.
If you or a loved one was the victim of a faulty product and suffered serious injury or death, it is advised that you enlist the assistance of an experienced attorney to discuss your rights and whether you may qualify for receiving compensation for your injury. Our dedicated team of attorneys has the resources and the knowledge to help you navigate this sometimes confusing and difficult process. All initial consultations are free of charge, and our attorneys are here around the clock to answer any questions you may have.
Original article at Boston.com