Recreational Equipment, Home Furnishings Linked to Most Consumer Deaths: CPSC Report
Federal regulatory officials indicate that more than 6 million individuals were treated in the emergency room last year due to injuries caused by hazardous consumer products, with sports equipment and home furnishings responsible for the most consumer deaths in the United States.
Every year, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) submits a report to the President and Congress, outlining steps the agency has taken to protect Americans from dangerous products during the prior year, outlining the categories of products that posed the greatest risk.
According to the agency’s 2023 Annual Report, more than 1,780 deaths were caused by sports and recreational equipment in 2023, with another 1,383 deaths linked to home furnishings and fixtures. More than 500 of those deaths involved children under 5 years old.
In addition to fatalities, the report also indicated sports equipment led to 3.6 million injuries that required treatment in the emergency room. This included injuries from swimming pools, ATVs, hoverboards, and water slides, among other items.
The CPSC warns consumers about thousands of injuries involving sporting equipment every year. In fact, hundreds of children drown in pools yearly, dozens of injuries resulted from recalled Peloton treadmills, and hundreds more resulted from hoverboards, scooters, and other electric mobility devices.
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In 2023, another 2.9 million injuries were caused by home furnishings and fixtures, including items like Christmas trees, beds, electric heating pads, nursery furniture, ladders, rocking chairs, and throw rugs.
Consumer Safety Enforcement
The CPSC is an independent agency that works to protect the public from harmful consumer products. The agency addresses hazardous products that may pose a real risk and, in some cases, may pose the risk of death. The agency communicates recalls and other issues to the public and issues some enforcement actions.
The report highlighted various enforcement activities the CPSC is enacting to help improve the oversight of the agency.
Enforcement efforts included the Fast Track recall program to streamline the recall process, issuing violation notices to manufacturers for hazardous products, issuing commission determinations and judicial actions for companies that knowingly violate CPSC rules, enforcing import surveillance with U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and levying civil penalties to companies that fail to report hazards.
The report to Congress also details new CPSC regulations passed last year, court cases it was involved in and updates on a number of ongoing investigations.
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