Children are the most vulnerable of consumers. They don’t act in the same way as adults, which means the manufacturers of toys have to be very careful to cover all potential dangers such as a child swallowing a part or eating poisonous paint.
Sometimes toys or gadgets can cause unexpected injuries. Last year a mother from New Jersey brought an $80 million lawsuit against the retailer Toys ‘R’ Us after she bought a Nickelodeon Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles wristwatch that she claims caused severe burns to her son’s arm. She also sued the Queens-based watchmaker M.Z. Berger & Co.
Injuries caused by defective toys can be very distressing because they involve harm to children. In recent years the US has seen an influx of toys from China that have been harmful to children. In some cases, though, the whole concept of a toy is flawed. Here are five of the most dangerous toys of the last few decades:
Aqua Dots were small, colorful beads that were part of a design craft kid manufactured by the Spin Master Corporation. The chemical compound of these beads included the “date rape” drug gamma hydroxybutyrate (GHB), which had not been identified as a date rape drug at the time. Kids who licked the dots suffered respiratory depression, seizures and even became comatose. One child spent five days in hospital after swallowing an Aqua Dot. The manufacturer recalled 4.2 million units and suspended the toy in November 2007.
Sky Dancers Flying Dolls
Galoob Toys developed Barbie-inspired 9-inch hard flying plastic dolls. They lacked reliable controls and ended up flying at incredible speed in unpredictable directions. After more than 150 children’s injuries were reported, including temporary blindness, broken teeth and ribs, mild concussions and lacerations. Nine million units were recalled in June 2000.
Snap bracelets were spring-loaded metal bands wrapped in colorfully designed plastic or cloth which became popular in the early 1990s. They could be be straightened out until rigid and then slapped against a wrist, causing the bracelet to curl into place. Unfortunately, cheaper versions of the toy (which sold for under a dollar) would cause injuries such as snapping into children’s flesh when the metal band wore through its covering. They were banned in many schools.
Mini hammocks from EZ Sales
These nylon mini hammocks became labelled “death cocoons” after they were linked to12 confirmed fatalities by asphyxiation, with the victims ranging in age from 5 to 17. There were also many more reports of near-death entrapments. The problem was a design flaw and the lack of spreader bars at either end, which should have kept the hammock open when children were swinging or lying in the hammocks. More than 3 million of them were recalled in August 1996.
Easy-Bake Oven by Hasbro
Although Easy-Bake toys were around since the 1950’s, the model Hasbro developed had a defect in that a front-loading oven would trap children’s hands. Almost 100 kids suffered second- and third-degree burns to their hands and fingers, including one 5-year-old girl who required a partial finger amputation. The oven was recalled and discontinued in July 2007.
If your child has been injured by a dangerous toy or other children’s device, you should call an experienced Virginia products liability attorney. Call Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers at 757.455.0077.