Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Dangerous Holiday Gifts & Products For Children

Holiday Shopping: Dangerous Gifts for Your Children

It’s the season of giving and time is running out to find the perfect gifts for your family and loved ones. Popular with those parents who’d like to add some physical activity in their children’s lifestyles is sporting goods. This is everything from the classic ball ‘n’ hoop to a fresh new pair of rollerblades.

By law in the state of Florida, a bicycle travelling 10MPH must be able to stop completely within 25ft of the initial point of brake application. Is there a chance that some company out there is manufacturing bikes that don’t meet up to this legal standard? What if the brakes—which are sub-par due to a company’s negligence—are a direct cause of the accident that seriously injured your child?

The list ranges further than sporting goods, too. For Christmas this year, Santa could be gifting your children anything ranging from food, to video games, and everything in between. While it’s not recommended to examine and evaluate every product for consumer safety (there are already agencies responsible for doing that), it is important to educate yourself on the less obvious or rarely mentioned dangers. 

Recognizing the Dangers

Parents may fail to notice just how dangerous chips, crackers, popcorn, and other dry, sharp, and crunchy food can be to young children; a serious, yet often overlooked choking hazard. While it sounds like a relatively uncommon gift, I’ve seen packages of said snacks attached to gifted teddy bears and more commonly during Easter, where pre-made Easter baskets are sold in the masses at stores and contain serving-sized packages of various snacks and candies.

The look on your child’s face when he or she un-wraps the gift that they were begging for all year is undoubtedly priceless. The overwhelming amount of joy in the air could blind your keen eye and affect your ability to determine a safe gift from a hazardous one. While companies become better at defending themselves in product liability lawsuits, they fail to better the overall quality of their product on a constant basis. Instead of improving design to ensure maximum product safety, they often slap a warning sticker on the side to cover themselves in a court of law, but it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re out of luck.

Has the company…:
·        …adequately warned or informed the consumer of all “non-obvious” risks that could have been pretended if a warning was provided? If not, a claim regarding “failure to warn” may be in the works.
·        …given the consumer false information or an incorrect idea (through advertisements, marketing, etc.) pertaining to a product’s stability, durability, intended use, or other area of interaction that could lead to injury? If yes, a marketing defect is a valid reason to speak with an attorney.
·        …provided the consumer with a product that is dangerous by design? A good example is the once popular neodymium magnet toys known as “Buckyballs”. Production of these wildly fun toys was officially cancelled on December 27th, 2012, when the company decided that they had received too many complaints to handle alone. Children were using the magnetic balls to emulate tongue piercings and proceeding to choke on them.
·        …provided the consumer with a product that is dangerous due to a manufacturing defect?

This differs from a design defect for two reasons.

1.)         The general design for the product is sufficient; when manufactured in the masses, the product is normally safe. The specific product that you received, however, has become defective during the manufacturing process; whether by the negligent actions of a human, or the incorrect operations of a faulty robot.
2.)         It is a much rarer scenario to come across, making your case more unique and yielding a potentially greater amount of financial compensation.


Remember this holiday season while gift shopping for your children and/or the children of others that—while many are—not every product that makes it to the shelves of your favorite local department store deserves to be there. With the help of nearly-perfect robotic manufacturing, products have become safer than ever over the years, but a quick glance at one of our weekly product recall alerts can show you what danger still lurks.

If you or a loved one has been injured by a product that was being used as intended, you may be eligible for significant financial compensation. For a free consultation and case evaluation from an experienced Clearwater product liability attorney, contact Dolman Law Group today 727-451-6900.

Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33756
(727) 451-6900

Practice Area: 
Product Liability

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