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Check for dangerous toys on Montana kids' Christmas lists

Christmas is coming and toys are always on a child's wish list. While toys are important for a child's development and learning skills, some toys can pose health risks to children. In fact, in 2010, 181,500 children visited an emergency room for a toy-related injury and almost half of those children were age four and younger.

Billings, Montana, residents should check toys for potential hazards before purchase. Parents should choose toys that have better quality and are appropriate for the child's age. Some toys, particularly those made from pure plastic, may break easily. Dangerous children's toys may also include large toys, such as balls, bats and rackets, because the child might use them inappropriately. Parents should also be wary of toys with sharp points or edges.

Toys with small parts might be a choking hazard and should not be given to children younger than age three, including babies. For example, the Quixel baby rattle is being recalled by its manufacturer as it poses a choking hazard to infants. Manhattan Group, the manufacturer of the baby rattle, stated in a recall notice that the toy's colored arches can break and the small parts could be dangerous to a baby if swallowed. More than 8,000 of the defective toys were sold in the United States, including in Montana. No toy-related injuries have been reported, however.

Toys are some of the most popular products sold on the market. Still, profit should not be the only concern of toy manufacturers; they also should focus on product safety in order to avoid toy-related injuries or death to children.

Injuries derived from dangerous children's toys may give cause for a potential product liability claim. Such a claim may arise from consumer injuries caused by a defective part, defective industrial equipment and a manufacturer's negligence.

Source: Times-News Online, "Keep holiday toys safe, smart, fun," Dr. Beth Vo, Dec. 11, 2013

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