Posted in on October 20, 2010

Fisher-Price Recalls

It’s every parent’s nightmare — their child being injured by a seemingly innocuous toy. Parents trust that the items they pick up from store shelves have been thoroughly tested, and are safe to give their children. When one of those items causes injury or illness, not only is it a stressful situation for parents to deal with, they may also feel a sense of guilt. After all, they’re the ones who bought the toy and gave it to their child, not knowing it was dangerous. It’s unfortunate, but many times the only way toy manufacturers learn that a product they produced is dangerous is after an injury has already occurred and is reported. The usual course of action in these instances is a recall of the product. This seems to have been happening with more frequency lately, most recently when Fisher-Price had to recall more than 10 million products.

In September 2010, Fisher-Price, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of toy manufacturer Mattel, issued a recall for several products, among them a toddler tricycle, and a high chair. Many times, toys are recalled because they contain small pieces that are easily removed or broken off from the toy, and then end up in toddlers’ or babies’ mouths, becoming choking hazards. In the case of the toddler tricycle, however, the problem was an “ignition key” that protruded too far from the top of the trike, and caused injury to a few children when they fell onto it.

It’s one thing for defective toys to be recalled, but parents’ fears and concerns are only heightened when a recall is instituted for everyday children’s products. Every parent needs a high chair to feed their child. Few people would consider such an item to be dangerous. It’s not something a child uses unsupervised, and there are no small parts that can end up in kids’ mouths.

The Fisher-Price high chairs posed a danger to children who fell against them. The backs of the high chairs’ legs contained pegs that also protruded too far from the item. A few children fell against the legs and suffered lacerations — some of which required stitches — and at least one tooth injury.

This is not the first time Fisher-Price has had to recall some of its products. The company instituted a toy recall in 2007, pertaining to 85 types of toys — 967,000 toys total — that contained lead paint. The paint presented a poisoning risk to children, especially if the paint were ingested.

There’s no doubt that companies like Fisher-Price do the responsible thing by issuing recalls when they learn of hazardous situations caused by their products. But once a recall happens, the question becomes, how did they not know? How could a company not know the paint on their toys contained lead? How could they not foresee children falling against protrusions on their toys, and suffering serious injuries? Despite all the testing these products go through, more must be done to protect the children who will use these products.

If you think you may have a toy in your home that has been recalled, you can check Mattel’s website for detailed information about its recalls. If your child has been injured by a toy included in this latest Fisher-Price recall — or in any product recall for that matter — you need a product liability attorney. Your lawyer will walk you through the process of filing a claim, and ensuring the company responsible for your child’s injuries appropriately compensates you, and takes the necessary steps to ensure it doesn’t happen again.

We hope your children stay safe and happy. But if the unthinkable happens, we’re here to help.

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