JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A Jacksonville personal injury law firm weighed in on a consumer safety group's annual list of worst toys for the holiday season, saying it has seen too many children's injuries as a result.
Attorney Wayne Hogan, with Terrell Hogan, told News4Jax on Tuesday that he feels it’s important for a lawyer to stress the importance of the list since, as a personal injury attorney, he has dealt firsthand with cases involving injuries and deaths to children from toys.
The popular Nerf guns, which have been around for decades, were one of the toys that made this year's list.
"Example of one that shoots," explained Hogan. "One child could be around other children, fire this and be able to hit the person in the eye and you're talking about lifelong vision injury."
Hogan said parents should also avoid buying toys, such as a pull-along dog, with long strings or cords.
"Here’s one that represents a strangling hazard," Hogan said. "The standard is to have this only 12 inches, but it 18 inches. It’s capable of a small child being strangled."
When it comes to toys your child could choke on, some experts say a good role of thumb is to use a toilet paper roll. If the toy can fit through the hole, your child may be able to choke on it. But if the toy is big enough to where it does not go through the hole, it’s likely OK.
"I actually do look into the box, make sure everything's OK," said Shanna Boardman, a mother of a 2-year-old girl.
Darrell West, whose son is 13 years old, said he also tries to make sure toys are safe and appropriate.
"We check the labels that give the age indicators or what they're appropriate for," he said.
Experts say a good way to know what to avoid buying for children is by remembering the following acronym:
S: Can it strangle?
S: Is it small?
S: Does it shoot?
S: Is it sharp?
H: Is it hard?
When it comes to holiday gifts, not only do parents have to be careful with what is inside the packaging, but also the packaging itself. When children unwrap the toys on Christmas morning, make sure all of the small wrapping parts get thrown away.
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