Holiday gifts and safety: A reminder to be cautious with your purchases
As you start your holiday shopping, it’s wise to remember that you don’t always get what you pay for. Defective toys, cookware and hobby products are everywhere -- and some of the most dangerous ones may be on your list.
How can you protect your loved ones from dangerous or defective products?
One of the smartest things you can do is go online and check for recalls
and consumer warnings before you buy any kind of gift that has the potential to cause harm.
It’s also wise to exercise some caution with your purchases. Keep the following things in mind when you’re buying anything as a gift:
- Who manufactured the item? While name brand products are pricier than the knock-offs that are widely available online and in discount stores, they may also be safer. A lot of copycat toys and hobby items are made overseas with cheaper materials that can be toxic or volatile.
- Does the item require supervision when it’s being used? If you’re buying a gift for a child or even an absent-minded adult, you may want to steer clear of anything that could be dangerous if it is left unattended.
- Are there aspects of the item that are inherently dangerous? Toys with lots of small, moving parts, for example, can turn in to choking hazards. Toys with long strings can end up being a strangulation hazard. Think carefully about the recipient of your intended gift before you buy.
Despite your best efforts, you may still end up with a defective product that causes an injury
. Every year, the news is filled with stories about injuries caused by gifts that had hidden dangers. If your loved one is hurt, talk to an attorney about what you need to do to seek fair compensation.