4 children’s toys hazards and how tragedies in Ohio can be prevented

Hazards associated with children’s toys can either be prevented or their risk can be mitigated.

Parents in Ohio understandably pay attention to the toys their children enjoy. Each year, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission releases a report on the number of toy-related deaths and injuries among children. In 2014, a toy was associated with 11 deaths and 251,800 injuries that required an emergency room visit.

Some hazards may be easily identifiable, though others may go unnoticed, especially when a manufacturer fails to appropriately warn consumers about potential dangers. Here are four common issues found in children's toys and how parents can avoid a tragedy:

1. Choking hazards

Under the Child Safety Protection Act, manufacturers are required to label products intended for ages 3 to 6 with information regarding small parts. Items that have small parts should not be marketed toward children younger than that. Parents must be aware not only if a toy has small pieces, but also if it has the potential to easily break apart into small pieces.

2. Lead poisoning

There are two places that lead may show up in a child's toy: in the paint, or in the plastic. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Protection, the U.S. banned lead in paint and toys in 1978. However, toys manufactured in other countries - which is often the case - may contain it.

Parents who suspect that a child has been exposed to lead should immediately seek medical help, as a blood test is the only way to know for sure. Additionally, the potentially dangerous toy should be removed and taken to a lab for testing.

3. Magnets

Magnets are a major concern because ingesting them can cause serious damage to a child's body. The CPSC notes that magnets marketed as a set and that could fit into a child's mouth must be low in power. A manufacturer that strays from this guideline puts a child's life at risk and could face serious repercussions.

Parents should keep other magnets like refrigerator magnets out of the reach of children. If a child swallows a magnet of any kind, parents should contact a physician.

4. Batteries

Many children's toys are battery-operated. While larger batteries may not pose a major threat, button batteries do. Safe Kids Worldwide states that more than 2,800 children annually receive emergency room treatment due to swallowing a button battery. Parents should carefully consider allowing children to play with toys that use these types of batteries.

Though some of these hazards are accidents, some may be a reflection of a manufacturer's negligence. When that occurs, victims are entitled to hold the company responsible for damages.

People who have concerns about this topic should consult with a personal injury attorney in Ohio.