If your child has been injured by a defective product, you may be entitled to compensation from the manufacturer, retailer, or distributor. A defect may occur during the manufacture of a product or from the time it leaves the manufacturer to the time a consumer purchases it, or a manufacturer may not give adequate warnings about a product.
Laws and Regulations to Keep Child Products Safe
The federal government enacts laws and regulations aimed at ensuring products made for children are safe. Individual states pass laws to protect children from dangerous and defective products as well.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is an independent agency that works with manufacturers and retailers to keep unsafe or dangerous products out of the hands of children. The CPSC communicates with manufacturers and retailers to convince them to recall products that may be harmful to children.
If a manufacturer or retailer does not issue a recall, the CPSC may file a suit requesting a judge to order a recall. The CPSC issues press releases and posts them on its website. You can also search a recall list on the website to see if a specific product has been recalled.
Defective or Dangerous Toys that Can Harm to Children
Regulations require manufacturers to make toys that are safe for children and to provide warnings that cover potential dangers.
Toys Containing Substances That Can Harm Children If Ingested
Small children are known to put toys in their mouths. Some toys can cause serious health problems if ingested by children. Here are a few examples:
- Lead: Toys covered with lead-based paint create a danger to children. The United States has banned lead for 40 years. Lead can be a problem in products manufactured in other countries or handed down from generation to generation. A blood test can determine the lead level in a child’s body. High levels of lead can damage a child’s nervous system or can cause long-term brain damage.
- Phthalates: Some toys, such as teething rings and baby rattlers, contain a hazardous chemical known as phthalate. Manufacturers added phthalates to plastic toys to give them a smoother feel. Long-term exposure to phthalates can cause reproductive defects in male children.
- Buckyballs: Some children ingested buckyballs, small individual magnets used to create different shapes and structures. The magnets can stick together in the digestive tract, causing holes in the intestines and stomach that can be life-threatening. The CPSC banned the magnets in 2014, but a federal court overturned the ban in 2016. Since March 2010, Buckyballs have been labeled “Keep Away From All Children.”
If your child has been injured from ingesting a toxic substance from a toy, you may be entitled to compensation. Call Newsome Melton for a free consultation.
Toys That Can Cause Choking Hazards to Children
A toy can create a danger if it is so small that a child can place it in his or her mouth. Children may also ingest parts or pieces from a toy. For example, a child may remove a button from the clothing of a doll and put it in his or her mouth.
The Child Safety Protection Act bans products with small parts for children under the age of three. Toy manufacturers must test their products to see if they are a choking hazard. If so, the manufacturer must place a warning on the product.
Equipment That Can Create Hazards to Children
Your child may not be safe where he or she is sleeping or when you are carrying the child from place to place. Cribs, strollers, and slings may be defective.
Cribs That Can Harm Children
Millions of cribs, bassinets, and playpens have been recalled over the past 10 years. Many drop-side cribs have been recalled, and since June 28, 2011, manufacturers are prohibited from making or selling them. The drop-side structure could break, resulting in a gap between the mattress and the drop-side of the crib. The gap could trap an infant’s head, resulting in suffocation or strangulation.
Baby Slings That Can Pose Dangers to Children
Baby slings permit a parent to carry a child close to the parent while allowing the parent to have both hands free. These slings and sling carriers pose a risk that the child may fall out of the sling or that the baby could suffocate if the baby’s face presses against the parent’s body, blocking the child’s airway.
Strollers That Can Present Hazards to Children
Several models of strollers have been recalled because they create potential hazards. Here are some examples of potential dangers:
- Defective hinges can lacerate or even amputate a child’s finger.
- A defective harness can cause a child to fall out of the stroller or to become trapped inside the stroller.
- Defective brakes can cause the stroller to roll away from a parent.
Before you purchase a baby crib, sling, or stroller, make sure it is not on the recall list. This is particularly important if someone is giving you one of these items or you are purchasing them at a flea market, at a yard sale, or on websites such as eBay.
Bringing a Product Liability Suit If Your Child Is Injured by a Defective Product
In a product liability suit, you may show that the product was defectively made or that the manufacturer, retailer, or distributor did not give proper warnings concerning the product’s hazards. Your product liability suit can be based on strict liability, negligence, or breach of warranty.
You can recover compensation for your child’s injuries, including the child’s present and future medical expenses. You may also recover compensation for the loss of the child’s earning capacity and for the child’s pain and suffering. In some cases, you may recover punitive damages, which are damages designed to punish the manufacturer, retailer, or distributor for its conduct.
If your child has been injured by a product, call a defective child and infant products injury lawyer at Newsome Melton at 888-808-5977 for a free consultation or make an appointment on our website.