Toys are meant to bring joy and aid in a child’s development. But when these toys are manufactured in a dangerous or defective way, they expose children to the risk of serious injury. That is exactly the case in a recent recall of millions of popular Baby Shark children’s bath toys. The toys are being recalled due to a serious risk of child injuries including impalement, laceration, and puncture injuries.
If your child has Baby Shark bath toys, the information below is important for your child’s safety and wellbeing. At Kherkher Garcia, we want parents and consumers to be aware of dangerous products that could cause serious injuries. Below, our children’s product liability attorneys provide information about the Baby Shark recall, and discuss the broader impact of impalement, laceration, and puncture injuries on children.
Baby Shark Sing & Swim Bath Toy Recall
On June 22, 2023, Zuru LLC recalled 7.5 million Baby Shark bath toys due to a risk of impalement, laceration, and puncture injuries to children. The recall affected both full-size and mini Robo Alive Junior Baby Shark Sing and Swim bath toys, as well as Mini Baby Shark Swimming bath toys. The toys were sold in pink, yellow, and blue and came with a hard plastic fin on the top.
The recall was issued after reports of at least 12 child injuries due to the toys, including nine children who required stitches or other medical attention. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), the injuries occurred when children fell or sat on the toys, causing the fins to impale, lacerate, or puncture their skin.
Consumers who purchased the recalled toys are advised to stop using them immediately and contact Zuru for a full refund. The company has set up a website and toll-free number for consumers to report injuries and request refunds.
Here is a summary of the recall:
- Product: Baby Shark bath toys, including full-size and mini Robo Alive Junior Baby Shark Sing and Swim bath toys, as well as Mini Baby Shark Swimming bath toys.
- Hazard: Hard plastic fin on the top of the toys poses a risk of impalement, laceration, and puncture injuries to children.
- Number of Units Recalled:5 million
- Dates Sold: May 2019 through March 2023 (full-size toys) and July 2020 through June 2023 (mini toys)
- Where Sold: Walmart, CVS Pharmacy, Dollar General, Family Dollar, HEB Grocery Company, Meijer, Target, TJX Companies, Ross, and Walgreens stores nationwide, as well as online at walmart.com, target.com, amazon.com, and other websites.
- What to Do: Consumers should stop using the recalled toys immediately and contact Zuru for a full refund.
Child Injuries Resulting from Dangerous Toys
Children are naturally curious, and while play is an essential aspect of their development, it is crucial to be aware of potential dangers associated with toys, especially those with design or manufacturing defects. Impalement, laceration, and puncture injuries pose significant threats to children’s safety during playtime. Understanding the risks and taking preventive measures is essential for ensuring a secure environment for our little ones.
Certain toys, especially those with sharp or pointed components, can pose a severe risk of impalement. Whether it is a toy with a protruding part, a poorly designed action figure, or a broken piece, children may inadvertently injure themselves. Impalement injuries can result in:
- Internal Damage: When a sharp object penetrates a child’s body, it can cause internal damage to organs, blood vessels, or other structures. The severity of internal injuries depends on the depth and location of the impalement.
- Excessive Bleeding: Impalement injuries often result in significant bleeding, depending on the size of the object and the blood vessels affected. Excessive bleeding can lead to hypovolemic shock, a life-threatening condition caused by the loss of a large amount of blood.
- Infection: The risk of infection is high in impalement injuries, as foreign objects can introduce bacteria and contaminants into the body. Infections can lead to further complications and may require additional medical interventions.
- Nerve Damage: Impalement can damage nerves, leading to loss of sensation, weakness, or paralysis in the affected area. Nerve injuries can have long-lasting effects on a child’s physical function and quality of life.
- Psychological Impact: Impalement injuries can have a profound psychological impact on children, causing fear, anxiety, and potential post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The emotional toll of such an incident may require counseling or therapeutic support.
- Surgical Intervention: In severe cases, impalement injuries may necessitate surgical intervention to remove the object, repair damaged tissues, and address any associated complications. Surgery itself poses risks, including infection, bleeding, and adverse reactions to anesthesia.
Parents and caregivers should carefully inspect toys for any sharp edges or potential impalement hazards, and promptly remove or repair items that could jeopardize a child’s safety.
Toys with sharp edges, abrasive surfaces, or detachable components can lead to laceration injuries. Items like broken dolls, toys with sharp plastic edges, or those with removable parts that can cause cuts are particularly concerning. Laceration injuries can cause:
- Bleeding: Lacerations can cause significant bleeding, depending on the depth and location of the cut. Excessive bleeding can lead to hypovolemic shock, a serious condition resulting from the loss of a large amount of blood.
- Infection: Open wounds from lacerations provide an entry point for bacteria and other pathogens. Without proper care and cleaning, lacerations can become infected, potentially leading to complications such as cellulitis or abscess formation.
- Scarring: Deep or poorly managed lacerations may result in visible scars. While some scarring is inevitable with any wound, proper wound care and medical intervention can minimize scarring and improve cosmetic outcomes.
- Tendon and Muscle Injuries: Depending on the location of the laceration, tendons and muscles may be affected. Severe injuries to these structures can result in impaired movement, strength, or fine motor skills.
- Psychological Impact: Laceration injuries can be emotionally distressing for children. The experience of pain, fear, or anxiety during the injury and subsequent medical treatment may have a lasting psychological impact, potentially leading to anxiety about future injuries.
Regularly inspecting toys for signs of wear and tear, and promptly addressing any defects, can significantly reduce the risk of laceration injuries. Additionally, parents should be aware of product safety recalls and stop using any toy that is subject to a recall or is a risk for causing child injuries.
Toys that include sharp objects such as needles, pins, or sharp edges can result in puncture injuries. Items like dart games, toy tools, fins, or spines can become dangerous, leading to severe injuries. Potential injuries from punctures may include:
- Infection: Puncture wounds create a narrow entry point for bacteria and other pathogens. In the absence of proper cleaning and care, there is a heightened risk of infection. Infections from puncture injuries can lead to localized cellulitis or, in more severe cases, systemic infections.
- Nerve Damage: Depending on the location and depth of the puncture, nerves may be affected. Nerve damage can result in sensory disturbances, weakness, or loss of function in the affected area, impacting the child’s overall mobility and sensation.
- Blood Vessel Damage: Puncture injuries may damage blood vessels, leading to bleeding complications. While some puncture wounds may not cause extensive bleeding, deeper injuries or those involving major blood vessels can pose a risk of significant blood loss.
- Abscess Formation: In some cases, puncture injuries can result in the formation of abscesses. An abscess is a collection of pus that can develop within the tissues, causing localized swelling, pain, and potential complications if left untreated.
- Psychological Impact: Puncture injuries, like any traumatic event, can have a psychological impact on children. The experience of pain, fear, or anxiety during the injury and subsequent medical treatment may contribute to lasting psychological effects.
It is crucial for parents and caregivers to be vigilant in monitoring the condition of toys, keeping small and sharp items out of reach, and providing adequate supervision during play.
Reducing the Risk of Children’s Injuries
To reduce the risk of product-related injuries to children, there are some things that parents can do. We recommend the following:
- Regular Inspection: Routinely inspect toys for signs of wear, damage, or any potential hazards. Check for sharp edges, broken parts, or small detachable components that could pose a threat.
- Age-Appropriate Toys: Choose toys that are age-appropriate for your child. Manufacturers provide age recommendations on packaging, and adhering to these guidelines ensures that the complexity and potential dangers of the toy align with the child’s developmental stage.
- Supervision: Always supervise young children during playtime. This not only allows for quick intervention in case of any issues but also promotes safe and responsible play.
- Safe Storage: Properly store toys when they are not in use. Ensure that toys with small parts are kept out of reach, preventing younger siblings from accessing potentially hazardous items.
- Reporting Defective Toys: If you notice a defect in a toy or receive information about a product recall, take immediate action. Report the issue to the manufacturer or appropriate regulatory authorities to prevent further injuries.
- Contact an Attorney: If your child was injured due to a dangerous or defective product, a children’s product liability attorney can help you explore your legal rights and determine if you have an actionable claim against the manufacturer.
Get Help after Product-Related Child Injuries
When it comes to product-related injuries, the legal landscape can be complex. The good news is that you don’t have to navigate it alone. At Kherkher Garcia, our dedicated attorneys specialize in personal injury and product liability cases. We have a proven track record of holding manufacturers accountable for their negligence.
If your child has injuries due to a dangerous or defective product, it is crucial to take action promptly. By reaching out to us, you’re not just securing legal representation – you’re taking the first step toward reclaiming your rights and ensuring that others don’t fall victim to the same hazards. Child injuries are serious, and we are fierce advocates for your family.
Get started today with a free consultation. Call us at 713-333-1030, or by complete our online contact form.
Image from the CPSC