Each year, organizations like the CPSC, WATCH, and U.S. PIRG release information about toys that pose an increased and/or unnecessary risk of childhood injury or death. The goal of these and similar organizations is not to panic parents and caregivers, but to educate them about what to look for when purchasing toys.
On a more positive note, according to the CPSC, toy recalls have continued to decline since 2008 — there were 172 recalls in fiscal year 2008 and only 24 in fiscal year 2011. This positive trend is a result of stronger federal rules, increased safeguards, and safety-conscious steps being taken by toy makers and sellers.
Still, about 181,500 children younger than 15 years of age were treated in U.S. hospital emergency rooms due to toy-related injuries in 2010.
CPSC toy-related safety tips include:
• Balloons: Children can choke or suffocate on deflated or broken balloons. Keep deflated balloons away from children younger than 8 years old. Discard broken balloons at once.
• Small balls and other toys with small parts: For children younger than age 3, avoid toys with small parts, which can cause choking.
• 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 they should be sized to fit.
• Magnets: For children under age 6, avoid building or play sets with small magnets. If magnets or pieces with magnets are swallowed, serious injuries and/or death can occur.
At Siegfried & Jensen, we believe that information about dangerous and defective products helps you make better, safer choices for you and your loved ones. And a safer holiday season means a happier holiday season for everyone.