CPSC Issues Reminder on Toy Safety; Releases Statistics on Injuries, Product Seizures, & Recalls
The following article contains excerpts from a press release issued by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission on November 17, 2017, titled “Don’t Play with Toy Safety: CPSC Tips for Safe Gifts.”
November 17, 2017 | The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) issued a reminder today about toy safety, along with its most current statistics on toy-related injuries, toys seized at the nation’s ports, and recalls.
“Toy safety continues to be a top priority for CPSC, especially during this season of gift giving,” says Ann Marie Buerkle, acting chairman of the CPSC.
CPSC, along with Kids In Danger and The Toy Association, is urging consumers to follow age recommendations on packaging.
“Safety is the toy industry's top priority every day of the year – while there are simple steps that parents and caregivers can also take to ensure that playtime is safe,” says Steve Pasierb, president & CEO of The Toy Association.
“It is so important to have a strong agency such as CPSC working to keep dangerous toys off store shelves and online marketplaces," says Nancy Cowles, executive director of KID (Kids In Danger). "Families can help keep children safe by reporting safety incidents involving toys or other products at SaferProducts.gov and following developmental guidelines when purchasing toys.”
Additional safety tips for holiday gift-buying can be found in CPSC’s press release. Recommendations include choosing age-appropriate toys, avoiding small parts for children under 3, getting safety gear for ride-ons, and being careful with magnets.
NEW CPSC TOY REPORT
A new CPSC report estimates there were 174,100 toy-related emergency department-treated injuries and seven deaths in 2016 to children younger than 15. Riding toys, specifically non-motorized scooters, were the toy category associated with the most injuries and nearly half of toy-related deaths. All riding toy deaths were due to motor vehicle involvement. Most of the injuries involved cuts and bruises to the head and face.
In the report, CPSC provides the following context for considering the data: “For toy related deaths and injuries, it is important to note that although a toy was associated with many of the incidents, the toy was not necessarily the cause of the death or injury.”
CPSC AT THE PORTS
CPSC works with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) at the nation's ports to stop dangerous toys from entering the U.S. In fiscal year 2017, there were more than 745,000 toys seized at the ports for violating toy standards (including 360,000 toys with lead). These violative products never made it onto store shelves and were kept out of consumers' homes.
In fiscal year 2017, CPSC issued 28 toy recalls. Toys were recalled for defects including choking, mechanical hazards, and fire hazards that can injure a child. The CPSC urges consumers to regularly check their homes and toy boxes for previously recalled toys.
TAKING SAFETY TO THE SOURCE
International collaboration is also key when it comes to toy safety. This week, acting chairman Buerkle is taking part in a toy safety training seminar with CPSC's counterpart agency overseas — The Bureau of Standards, Metrology and Inspection (BSMI).
“I want to make sure that international suppliers who make products for the U.S. market know our rules, understand our requirements, and put safety first. By working together with industry to ensure safer products, the CPSC serves the best interest of U.S. consumers,” says Buerkle.