With the holidays now upon us, the season of gift giving has begun. Children will receive all sorts of presents this month, to their delight.
While you enjoy the holidays, however, we urge you to be aware of product safety issues that can affect your children. Oftentimes, seemingly harmless things can mean injury or even death to young ones.
How to Keep Your Kids Safe
Of course, no one wants to spend their holidays fretting and worrying. But taking just 3 simple precautions can help prevent a tragic accident.
- Check Age Labels. Always look at safety labels before allowing your child to play with a new toy. Even clothes have certain age restrictions to ensure safety. Safety labels may not always be obvious, especially when buying used products that may not be in their original packaging. Keep in mind that the belongings of older children may also be within reach of younger children.
- Check the Recall List. The Consumer Product Safety Commission posts all consumer recalls online. Here in Washington, the Department of Early Learning is also a good resource. Take a look at these lists, especially when purchasing used products. While it is illegal to sell a recalled product, but private sellers of used products may be unaware of the recall.
- Use Your Judgment. If you suspect that a product may be hazardous, err on the side of caution. Among the most common hazards for children are strangulation and choking, so consider whether or not a product could cause either of those things before leaving your child alone with it.
Even Children’s Products are Not Always Safe
The sad truth is that unsafe products are sold to unsuspecting families every day. While companies have a vested interest in recalling products that turn out to be dangerous, this does not mean they always exercise proper caution before releasing items to the market. For example: the Angelcare baby monitor was recalled on Nov. 21 — less than two weeks ago — after two children pulled its power cord loose and were strangled by it. These monitors have been on the market since 1999. In England, a 9-month old was found dead by his parents after he was strangled by the ties on a cot bumper.
When is a Product Liability Lawsuit Applicable?
If an injury or tragic death does occur as a result of a defective product, when can you take legal action against the manufacturer?
Under Washington state law, a product manufacturer is subject to a liability claim if it is proven that the company’s negligence led to the harm. This can involve a product that is not:
- Reasonably safe as designed.
- Constructed in accordance with its intended design.
- Sold with adequate warnings or instructions.
In other words, if a product causes harm that could have been avoided through reasonable precautions on the manufacturer’s part, the company can be held accountable. Compensation for product liability claims may help cover medical bills, funeral expenses, lost wages and more.
If you or a loved one was injured due to a defective product, you may be eligible for compensation. Please contact the Perey Law Group immediately. We provide a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our experienced attorneys to discuss your legal options.