At no time, are we more conscious of child safety than during this joyous ramp-up to the holidays when gift purchasing and giving is at all-time high. Various websites, including the website for the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), call to our attention the incidents and injuries that have parents quaking in their boots: Tip-overs of childhood furniture are still occurring and causing fatalities. The CPSC estimates there were 174,100-toy related emergency department-treated injuries and seven deaths in 2016 to children younger than 15. Riding toys, especially non-motorized scooters were associated with the most injuries and almost half of toy-related deaths (most involved a motorized vehicle).1
Our government makes a great effort to keep kids safe vis a\ vis toys on the market, and to that end seized 745,000 toys at our ports of entry for violating toy safety standards. Approximately 360,000 toys containing lead in some amount were also seized in 2017. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) helped stop dangerous toys from entering the U.S. and from being placed on the market and sold to parents, caregivers and family members of kids.
As we do each year, we urge parents and those who buy gifts for kids to follow the age-related recommendations on the packaging. Check the label, choose age-appropriate toys. Children under 3 years of age should not have toys with small parts, due to the threat of possible choking if parts become detached. Also please avoid toys with marbles and small balls for children under age 3. If you purchase riding toys, buy the safety gear that goes with them, including properly fitting helmets. Parents need to know that magnets, especially high powered magnet sets, can be dangerous and should be kept away from children under 14, and especially from small children. Young children should not have access to any toy or accessory with button batteries.
Proper supervision of kids when they use toys is important too. And please report any safety incidents involving toys or other products at www.SaferProducts.gov as soon as possible. Beyond their threat to human life, deaths, injuries and property damage due to consumer product incidents cost our Nation more than $1 trillion annually–and because our children are our most precious asset of all, we continue preach child safety every day of the year! Not just at Halloween and Christmas! But please be especially watchful this holiday season. To report a dangerous product or toy, or injury due to use of a toy or product, go online to www.SaferPrroducts.gov or call CPSC’s Hotline at 800-638-2772.
And have a wonderful holiday season!
1U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, “Don’t Play With Toy Safety: CPSC Tips for Safe Gifts”, www.cpsc.gov