CPSC Releases Top Three Tips for a Safer Holiday Toy Shopping and Playing Experience
New data shows toy recalls declining, toy injuries increasing
WASHINGTON, D. C. – As the holidays approach and toy catalogs begin to arrive in the mail, toy shoppers can become overwhelmed with all the choices. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) wants parents and consumers to know that safeguards put in place in recent years are making a positive impact and helping to restore confidence in the safety of toys in the marketplace.
The new toy safeguards include: (1) establishing the lowest lead content and lead paint limits in the world; (2) setting limits on the use of certain phthalates; (3) converting the voluntary toy standard into a mandatory standard; and (4) working with Customs and Border Protection data systems to track shipments as they are in transit from other countries thereby increasing our effectiveness in discovering dangerous products coming into U.S. ports.
These safeguards, along with safety-conscious steps taken by many toy makers and sellers, have contributed to a dramatic decline in toy recalls and toy-related fatalities since 2008. While recalls and deaths have declined, new statistics from CPSC released today show that toy-related injuries are increasing.
CPSC is encouraging consumers to adopt a three-pronged safety approach.
1. Which Toy for Which Child – Always choose age appropriate toys.
2. Gear Up for Safety – Include safety gear whenever shopping for sports-related gifts or ride-on toys, including bicycles, skates, and scooters.
3. Location, Location, Location – Be aware of your child’s surroundings during play. Young children should avoid playing with ride-on toys near automobile traffic, pools or ponds. They also should avoid playing in indoor areas associated with hazards such as kitchens and bathrooms and in rooms with corded window blinds.
Here are some additional safety steps that consumers can take while shopping this holiday season:
* Scooters and other Riding Toys – Riding toys, skateboards, and in-line skates go fast, and falls could be deadly. Helmets and safety gear should be worn properly at all times and be sized to fit.
* Small Balls and other Toys with Small Parts – For children younger than age three, avoid toys with small parts, which can cause choking.
* Balloons – Children can choke or suffocate on deflated or broken balloons. Keep deflated balloons away from children younger than eight years old. Discard broken balloons at once.
* Magnets – For children under age six, avoid building or play sets with small magnets. If magnets or pieces with magnets are swallowed, serious injuries and/or death can occur.
Once the gifts are open:* Immediately discard plastic wrappings or other packaging on toys before they become dangerous play things.
* Keep toys appropriate for older children away from younger siblings.
* Charging batteries should be supervised by adults. Chargers and adapters can pose thermal burn hazards to young children. Pay attention to instructions and warnings on battery chargers. Some chargers lack any mechanism to prevent overcharging.
Along with educating the public, CPSC is committed to working with foreign and domestic toy manufacturers, importers, and retailers to help them understand and comply with these requirements while keeping their doors open and their businesses competitive.
‘CPSC 2.0’ Launches Product Safety Agency into Social Media — Learn more at http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml09/09346.html
* Visit our new blog, OnSafety at www.cpsc.gov/onsafety
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The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of serious injury or death from thousands of types of consumer products under the agency’s jurisdiction. The CPSC is committed to protecting consumers and families from products that pose a fire, electrical, chemical, or mechanical hazard. The CPSC’s work to ensure the safety of consumer products – such as toys, cribs, power tools, cigarette lighters, and household chemicals – contributed significantly to the decline in the rate of deaths and injuries associated with consumer products over the past 30 years.
To report a dangerous product or a product-related injury, call CPSC’s Hotline at (800) 638-2772 or CPSC’s teletypewriter at (800) 638-8270. To join a CPSC e-mail subscription list, please go to https://www.cpsc.gov/cpsclist.aspx. Consumers can obtain recall and general safety information by logging on to CPSC’s Web site at www.cpsc.gov.