Over 4.8 million toys recalled in 2014 in the U.S. and Canada
Parents in Harlow may be aware that some toys can be hazardous for their children. The U.S.-based World Against Toys Causing Harm, a consumer group, has claimed that the product recalls of at least seventeen toys in the U.S. and Canada affected over 4.8 million individual units.
W.A.T.C.H. held a news conference in November 2014 to highlight their list of hazardous toys that were being sold to consumers in the run up to Christmas. The American Toy Industry Association responded by giving a statement defending the standard of care of its members and declaring that they were focused on ensuring that their products were safe. W.A.T.C.H. maintained, however, that the lack of testing and regulations in the toy industry allowed hazardous toys to reach the shops.
The group gave a number of examples, including a bow that was advertised as being able to shoot a projectile 145 feet, a plastic machine gun that came with a warning that it could be mistaken for a real gun, and a rocket kit that included yellow warning tape but not the recommended safety glasses. They also displayed toys for infants that had detachable pieces or inadequately secured artificial fur that could pose a choking risk.
The director of W.A.T.C.H. pointed out that these examples merely highlighted hazards that were present in many other toys. He went on to challenge the toy manufacturers, stating that his organisation should not be finding the product flaws for them.
Manufacturers and distributors owe a duty of care towards their customers and must ensure that their products are safe. If a consumer is injured by a product that the manufacturer knew, or should have known, was unsafe, then the consumer might be entitled to compensation. A solicitor familiar with personal injury law may be able to advise a client on their rights.