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How are toys tested for safety?

Those Minnesotans who have children probably spend a good amount of money on new toys. Though many of us buy these items without much thought, government regulations attempt to strictly control toy quality to ensure consumer safety. When a company fails to comply with these standards, then significant harm may befall a child.

So, what do the regulations require? According to government regulations, there are certain safety standards that all toys must meet. The list of tests covers a wide variety of issues, including: requirements for a soluble test for metals; specific guidelines on the safety of small objects, edges, projections, wires, nails and packaging; and the clarity of safety labeling, instruction manuals and producer markings. In addition to these requirements, certain toy makers, depending on which category their toy falls into, may have to be subjected to additional testing. For example, a toy may have to be tested for flammability, and if it has wheels it may have to be tested to ensure they are safe.

Though these tests are meant to ensure that toys are designed with safety in mind, and are manufactured in compliance with that design, sometimes product design defects make it through the process and reach consumers. This can be devastating. Poorly designed products can cause serious injuries and even death when used as they are intended, leaving victims and their families with significant physical, emotional, and financial losses.

In an attempt to recover these losses and hold errant toy manufacturers accountable, victims and their families may be able to file a products liability lawsuit. These matters are often complicated and best left to an experienced attorney, but the process, if completed successfully, may help families get back to their normal lives.

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