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Experts warn that holiday toys may be dangerous products

The stockings were stuffed by the fire with care - or were they? An increasing number of warnings are surfacing from federal customs officials about dangerous products that are making their way under the tree and into holiday gift boxes for children. Many of these action figures, princess costume kits and other toys may include high levels of lead in their paint, for example, leading to serious physical problems for Texas kids. Further, some dolls designed for toddlers have been found to give children easy access to their battery compartments, a manufacturing defect that could cause serious child injury.

Experts in customs and import enforcement advise parents to take care when purchasing toys during all seasons. They say that a simple second look at a product may give more information about its potential dangers. Further, Texas families can conduct a simple test at home to determine whether a product could pose potential hazards to kids. Parents and guardians are advised to conduct a simple "drop test" to guarantee the durability of the toy. To perform the test, just drop the toy on the floor.

Dangerous products and defective products will often not survive the drop test, breaking off small bits that could serve as choking hazards. In addition to conducting durability tests, parents are encouraged to research the toys they intend to purchase in advance. The Internet is a great resource for parents who are considering online purchases or even those in stores.

Children are a vulnerable population that deserves to be protected from the effects of dangerous products. Those victims that have suffered brain damage from toy-related lead poisoning, for example, deserve financial compensation from the negligent manufacturer or importer of the product. Families whose children have suffered injury or wrongful death because of defective products may qualify to receive financial damages; a qualified personal injury attorney can help these Texas families learn more about their legal rights.

Source: NBC Miami, "Watch out for dangerous toys, counterfeit products, U.S. Customs and Border Protection warns" Laura Rodriguez, Dec. 19, 2013

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