The Toy Association’s Statement Re: U.S. PIRG’s 2017 Trouble in Toyland Report
Many of the items named in U.S. PIRG’s supposed “Trouble in Toyland” report were previously recalled due to ongoing regulatory vigilance, and are no longer offered for sale. In typical fashion, PIRG has resorted to simply listing recalled toys because they couldn’t find safety violations among the toys that are currently on the market. As a result, the group is needlessly frightening parents and caregivers during what is supposed to be a joyful time of year.
Recalls are very rare – typically, only 0.003 percent of the three billion toys sold each year in the U.S. are recalled. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), toy recalls have declined dramatically in recent years. The CPSC consistently lists toys among the safest consumer product categories found in the home.
It is concerning that several of the items in PIRG’s report are NOT toys (hoverboards, dishes, balloons, etc.) The inclusion of these products in a supposed “toy” safety report undermines the toy industry’s deep and ongoing commitment to ensuring that toys are safe.
U.S. toy safety requirements are among the strictest in the world, and include more than 100+ standards, such as: strict lead limits, limits on sound level output, and a highly effective small parts regulation that was developed with the help of pediatricians. Toy companies must also comply with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) – a federal law that establishes privacy and security requirements for connected toys.
As innovative products continue to emerge, the toy industry works with experts to review and revise toy safety standards whenever necessary. U.S. PIRG has been repeatedly invited to participate in the continual review of toy standards – but each time, the group declines this invitation.
Parents and caregivers should always shop at reputable stores and online retailers they know and trust, and follow the age-grading on toy packaging. The Toy Association educates parents about choosing age-appropriate toys, and encourages parents to read all instructions and safety warnings on toy packaging and supervise their children at play.
Safety is the toy industry’s top priority every day of the year. For more information, families are invited to visit www.PlaySafe.org, The Toy Association’s website for parents and caregivers.