What to Know about Defective Children’s Toys and Liability


If your child was harmed by a defective children's toy, the manufacturer, inventor or distributor of that toy may be held legally liable. We see child injury claims where a child unknowingly used a defective toy and was hurt in the process. These cases range in severity. If your child has been seriously injured and you believe it was because of a defective children’s toy, you should contact a child injury attorney. You can reach our office at (319) 826-2250.

What is Defective?

A defective toy is one that can cause harm to a child playing with it because of something wrong with the toy. Children can not be expected to know how to play with a toy in a certain way as to avoid danger. Children are naturally curious and may explore a toy in ways that it may not have been intended. Toys should be created in such a way that even through curiosity and rough play, children are not harmed.

Defective Examples

There are many ways that a toy could be defective. Anything with small parts such as a battery or small pieces that could break off or that are too easily accessible to a child and could be defective. A toy with a string or cord that could cause strangulation may be defective.  Many toys manufactured outside the United States may contain lead paint that is dangerous to children if they put the toy in their mouth. The list of possibilities is endless, but any toy that seriously harms a child could be an example of a defective toy.

Factoring In Age

Children's ability to interact safely with a toy, and with the world around them, grows as they do. Products marketed to and for quite young children should be safe for that age range. Products that inherently may have a dangerous feature such as a cord or sharp pieces should be marketed to and clearly labeled for an older and appropriately aged child. The potential hazards should also be clearly labeled on the product packaging.

How Long Do I Have To Make a Case?

The statutes for making child injury claims in the case of defective toys is dependent on the state, but may be broad. The defective toy does not necessarily have to be one that was new or recently made. Furthermore, if your child is still a minor (or in some cases under 21), you may still have a case, even if the injury occurred years ago. A child injury attorney should be able to give you specific answers about the statute of limitations for your child injury claim.

Who is Liable?

The toy manufacturer or designer may be liable for an injury caused by a defective toy.  While a toy creator or seller may not maliciously nor purposefully sell a product that is harmful to children, he is still responsible for ensuring that the toy is safe for those children it was intended for.

Play is a critical part of a child’s development. The toys he or she interacts with should nurture and aid in healthy growth. If your child has been harmed or injured by a defective toy, please contact us at (319) 826-2250.

The above information is meant to be helpful, but is not meant to replace the legal advice of an attorney with whom you have an attorney-client relationship.