Product Defects a Risk of Holiday Gift Purchases

The National Retail Federation estimates Americans will spend an estimated $465 billion this holiday season. That’s an average of $765 per person. Holiday spending in 2014 shot up 12 percent from a year earlier and 6.5 percent more than it had been in a nine-year span. toyblocks

This is good news for the economy, but there is also a risk for consumers. There is an erroneous assumption that just because a product is sold on shelves or available online, that it must be safe and tested.

However, this isn’t true even when it isn’t peak spending season. In the shopping frenzy that occurs between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve, manufacturers rush to push production on a wide range of goods, from cars to children’s toys to diamonds. The intention of these items is to bring joy and satisfaction to those we love. But when those products aren’t properly designed, put together or checked for hazards, the result can be devastating.

Targeting specifically items geared toward child, consumer advocacy group “World Against Toys Causing Harm, Inc.,” or “WATCH,” has released its top 10 list of most dangerous toys for 2015. Those include:

  • Skipit’s Wheely Cute Pull Along – A rolling plush toy puppy marketed for play by toddlers. Recalled for wheels that pop off and are a choking hazard.
  • Foam Dart Gun – A realistic-looking “gun” that fires foam darts instead of bullets. It’s recommended for ages 3 and up. Even from a short distance, it’s not clear the product is a toy and not the real thing.
  • Mini Trampoline – A small trampoline marketed for use by young children. Although the box indicates supervision is required, the picture on the front shows a girl jumping by herself. Trampolines in general are associated with a host of potential dangers to users.
  • Poo-Dough – Play dough designed to look and smell like stool. Gross as that may sound, the real problem is that it contains wheat, which can cause allergy symptoms ranging from headaches to hives to difficulty breathing to life-threatening anaphylaxis.
  • Smack Shot slingshot – A slingshot that can hit targets up to 100 feet away. The box notes that anyone at close range should be “warned” of potential injury.
  • Kick Flipper – Marketed as a “skateboard without wheels,” young children are encouraged to use the board to learn kicks and flips. However, there is no mention of safety gear, and the kids on the packaging aren’t wearing any.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles “stealth sound” sword – A toy blade with the potential to cause real facial injuries and lacerations, the group warns.
  • Kid Connection Doctor Play Set – Doctor play set marketed to children 4 and up includes small parts, including a thin plastic tongue depressor, that can be choking hazards.
  • ELC Pull Along Zebra – A pull along toy with a choking/ strangulation hazard, marketed to children between 1 and 3 years of age.
  • Jurassic World Velociraptor claws – Marketed to children ages 4 and up, the oversize claws come with no warning of potential for facial injury.

Beyond toys, there are electric kitchen appliances, power tools, bicycles and other products that can cause harm to any user. This is especially troubling when you consider that many companies have succeeded in getting products on the shelves faster with less safety testing.

If you or a loved one is harmed by a defective or dangerous holiday gift this year, contact our dangerous products lawyers to learn more about how we can help.

If you have been injured in an accident, contact the Hollander Law Firm at 888-751-7777 for a free and confidential consultation. There is no fee unless we win.

Additional Resources:

2015 “10 Worst Toys”, 2015, WATCH

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Trucking Company Sued Over Crash That Killed Young Mother, Nov. 19, 2015, Naples Personal Injury Attorney Blog