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Watch for recalls of any toys you purchase for holiday presents

The holiday season is a time of magic for young children. The promise of a visit from Santa and many fun new toys fills the season with anticipation and excitement. It is also enjoyable for parents, who get to experience the happiness of their children and fulfill their wishes by giving them gifts.

With any present comes a level of responsibility from the gift giver. As a parent, you need to ensure that the gifts you purchase for your child are safe and appropriate for their age and abilities. Even when you buy toys that are appropriate for your child, they can still pose a risk.

Poorly manufactured products can sometimes break or cause other issues that lead to injuries or worse for the children that play with them. You should take steps to protect your children from defective toys this holiday season.

Purchase brand name products, not cheaper knock-offs

One of the best ways to avoid issues related to poor manufacturing -- such as easily broken objects or toys that contain dangerous chemicals or inappropriately small parts -- is to know the sources of the gifts you buy. Some items are okay to buy off brand versions of, while others may not be safe.

Choosing trusted toy manufacturers is one way to reduce the risk of lead paint for defective manufacturing impacting your child's safety and well-being. Companies that make knock-off versions of popular toys may engage in other questionable practices, such as using thinner plastics or weaker materials. Production issues can create a risk of product failure, while cheap materials may be toxic.

Monitor for potential recalls of toys and child equipment

Roughly 100 toys are part of a recall each year in the United States. You should register new items when you purchase them if the manufacturer offers that feature. That way, you will receive notification immediately if there is a recall. You should also keep a list of the major toys that you purchase for your children, as well as equipment and furniture they utilize. This is particularly important to do with items that you cannot register with the manufacturer.

With a list of the toys you purchase, you can easily compare your personal records to any recalls of toys or child furniture and equipment. Knowing when an item gets recalled is critical, because it allows you to act before your family falls victim to a defect in a toy. When companies recall toys and child items, they typically refund the purchase amount and request the return of the defective item. In some cases, replacements are an option if the defect is limited to a single production batch.

For the families and children impacted by defective toys or other products, the results can be serious injuries. Poisoning, lacerations and burns are possible. Depending on the nature of the defect, it may be possible to take civil action against a company whose defective product injures a child.

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