Should products designed for children be more strictly regulated than products for adults? Why or why not?

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We can actually argue two different ways about the question of whether or not products designed for children should be more strictly regulated than products for adults. Let's look at each in turn so you can make up your mind about which argument is stronger.

We might argue that products...

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We can actually argue two different ways about the question of whether or not products designed for children should be more strictly regulated than products for adults. Let's look at each in turn so you can make up your mind about which argument is stronger.

We might argue that products designed for children should be more strictly regulated. In support of this, we could show that children do not have the judgmental ability of adults to be able to use products as intended. Therefore, products must conform to stricter safety standards, and this usually requires regulation. Think, for instance, of toys for very young children. These must be carefully designed and made so there are no sharp edges or parts that can be detached and swallowed. Companies should be mindful of such common sense issues, but unfortunately, they sometimes are not. Regulations ensure that companies attend to practical concerns when it comes to products for children.

On the other hand, though, we might argue that parents have the ultimate responsibility for keeping their children safe and that regulations place an undue burden on companies. In this case, we might say that companies should be allowed to follow their common sense with regard to the safety of their products (being mindful that they can be sued for unsafe and failed products) and that parents should be the ones who decide which products their children use according to their own standards of safety. Finally, we may argue that regulations should apply to products across the board, for children have access to many products designed for adults.

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