(SingleBlackMom.wordpress.com) – The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree is a world-wide symbol of the holidays in New York City. This year, the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree will be lit for the first time on Wednesday, December 4, 2013. Tens of thousands will crowd the sidewalks for the event and hundreds of millions will watch it live across the globe.
The ceremony signals the official beginning of Holiday Shopping on steroids. As you look for toys and gift ideas, here is something else to consider: Are you buying the toy for your child’s enjoyment or to make you look cool to your friends and family?
Even low voltage batteries, such as the 12-volt, has the ability to cause a fire. Fireengineering.com reports that if a 12-volt cable is disrupted it can “create an arc flash, a heat buildup, and even a fire.” Certain safety precautions can be taken with rechargeable lithium-ion batteries and 12-volt batteries to help prevent a fire. Remaining attentive to a charging battery, unplugging battery chargers after use, remaining attentive while a battery-operated toy is in use, and limiting a toy’s use in direct sunlight may all help prevent a battery-caused fire.
A spokeswoman for the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, an independent federal agency, said at least 12 child deaths nationwide have been associated with powered riding toys since 2000, but none was caused by entrapments.
In June 2013, a 3-year-old boy was severely burned when the power operated tractor he was riding on ignited into flames. A 5-year-old Kentucky boy was killed when the powered toy he was riding on hit a trampoline in 2011.
Spokeswoman Patty Davis said eight of the victims drowned and in the other four cases, the victims were hit by other vehicles.
Davis said a National Electronic Injury Surveillance System shows that more than 21,000 injuries involving powered riding toys were seen at emergency departments from 2000 to 2011.
The parents of the 3-year-old boy have filed a lawsuit against the manufacturer of a riding tractor, Peg-Pérego USA Inc., seeking damages for an unspecified amount. On June 3rd in Athens County, a battery-operated toy tractor ignited, severely injuring then 2-year-old Wyatt Buckley. Wyatt’s parents, Marion and Heather Buckley have filed a lawsuit against Peg-Pérego, an Italian company that has American offices and manufactures various baby product and toys, including 6-volt, super-power 24-volt, and high performance 12-volt toys such as the one involved in this accident.
Wyatt suffered severe burns from the incident. Various reports estimate his burns to cover from 50-percent to 75-percent of his body. According to the Columbus Dispatch, Mrs. Buckley described Wyatt’s condition as improving, but noted he “still has a long way to go,” and is likely facing a lifetime of surgeries or medical treatments. The Buckley’s attorney, stated “A toy given to a 2-year-old just can’t catch on fire; and if it does catch on fire, it should be designed and manufactured so it wouldn’t continue to burn so it would not cause catastrophic harm to the child.”
The tractor, which was powered by a 12-volt battery, ignited because of a faulty manufacturing process or a faulty product. At the time of the fire, Peg-Pérego issued a statement saying “the materials of our toys cannot suddenly burst into flames. We are confident that other extraordinary factors were involved to cause such a fire.”
Many children’s toy vehicles operate off of 12-volt batteries including the John Deere Ride-On Power Loader, Ground Force John Deere Tractor, John Deere Farm Power Tractor with Wagon, Fischer-Price Barbie Jeep, Fischer-Price Cadillac Escalade, and Mercedes Benz G Class Ride-On.