According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, there were over 225,000 toy-related injuries treated in hospital emergency rooms in 2018. Approximately 37% of those injuries happened to children under the age of five.
Playing with games and toys is an important component of a child’s learning that takes place in a daycare center. However, it’s possible for toys to injure a child if they are not routinely inspected and maintained carefully. If your child is in a daycare facility or an in-home daycare, it’s important to know how toys can cause injuries.
Toys That Can Cause Injuries
Your child may have access to many types of toys at a daycare center, and most likely, they are well constructed and of high quality. However, some toys can be dangerous and cause injuries, including:
- Toys with sharp edges or points. Daycare toys that are made of weak or fragile plastic can shatter and leave sharp edges and points. Poor construction can also make these types of toys dangerous. Dolls may have clothing and hair accessories made with pins and staples that can pierce the skin of a child.
- Toys with safety warnings. Any toy that has a safety label citing the recommended age for child use should be taken seriously. Small children should not be playing with toys that aren’t approved for their age group. In addition, daycare providers should be aware of any toys with safety recalls issued by the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
- Toys that make loud noises. Musical instruments and many new learn-and-play toys reach a sound level of 85 decibels (dB) or higher. This level of sound could damage the hearing of young children.
- Toys that fly. Projectile toys—for example, guns or lawn darts—or any toy that can be used as a weapon could cause an injury, especially to the eyes.
- Toys with small parts. Toys with detachable pieces or that are tiny enough to put in the mouth can get caught in the windpipe and cause a child to choke.
- Toys that are electric. Electric shock and/or burns can occur when children use electric toys that aren’t properly wired or constructed. These types of toys are recommended for children over eight and should be used only with caregiver supervision.
Liability in Toy-Related Injuries
Although most daycare centers follow their state laws for child care licensing and regulations, often caregiver negligence is responsible for toy-related injuries because the daycare center doesn’t follow child-to-caregiver ratios. It’s difficult for many daycare centers to hire and keep responsible caregivers, so they may accept more children than they can safely monitor. If a child is injured because there aren’t enough caregivers to provide proper and careful supervision, the center and/or the caregiver can be found liable.
In personal injury claims involving negligence, one important aspect is whether or not the injury was “foreseeable.” This means the caregiver could have or should have been able to “foresee” or anticipate the injury. For example, if a caregiver is talking on their cellphone or texting instead of paying attention to the group of children under her care, she will likely miss the child who turns a toy into a weapon and begins hurling it at other kids in the room. Or a child may decide to throw the small building blocks used for reading development and letter recognition, hitting a child in the eye. This type of injury could be perceived as foreseeable because the caregiver failed to supervise the situation.
Call Us If Your Child Is Injured at Daycare
If your child’s injury was due to a toy at a daycare center or you believe the injury was foreseeable, you may want to pursue a personal injury claim. The daycare negligence attorneys at Bailess Law Firm will start work immediately to investigate the events that caused your child’s injury, so you can concentrate on helping your child get well. Our firm has years of experience handling personal injury claims against daycare centers and caregivers, and we believe your child deserves a fair, legal recovery. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.