While the holidays are over, hopefully the kids are still getting some mileage out of their gifts. Chances are, some of those included toys. Safety of children’s products is largely overseen by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), which announced recently it was teaming up with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CPB) to halt the flow of dangerous toys from reaching children this season.
The effectiveness of the effort this past year is still being weighed, but we do know this: Over the four years prior, the team stopped more than 8 million units of about 4,500 different kinds of toys and children’s products that failed to meet federal safety standards from reaching store shelves. These shipments included high levels of lead, small parts, sharp points and violations of labeling requirements. Further, in fiscal year 2016, the number of toy recalls fell sharply to 24, with only one of those being a lead violation, as compared to the 172 toy recalls issued in fiscal year 2009, with 19 of those involving high lead levels. Last year, toys were recalled for dangers that included fire and mechanical and choking hazards.
A new report released by the CPSC indicated that in 2015, there were an estimated 185,500 toy-related injuries that had to be treated at hospital emergency rooms. These cases involved only children under the age of 15, and at least 11 incidents resulted in death (final death counts may not yet be available). Most toy-related injuries involved some type of cut or bruise. Of those injuries that resulted in death, nearly half were riding toys – specifically, non-motorized scooters. Continue reading →