Toy-Related Deaths and Recalls on Decline: CPSC Report

The number of children who die from toy-related incidents and the number of toys that have to be pulled from the market due to potential health risks are on the decline, according to a new government report. 

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has issued a new report (pdf) that finds the number of toy-related deaths in children under the age of 15 declined in 2009 by half. In 2007 and 2008, 24 children suffered fatalities that were associated with particular toys, but only 12 died in 2009.

The CPSC has also announced that the number of toy recalls is also in sharp decline. So far this year, there have only been 44 toy recalls. That compares to 50 in 2009 and 172 in 2008. The CPSC linked the declines to new toy safeguards on lead paint and dangerous chemical restrictions and safety-conscious steps taken by the toy industry to make their products safer.

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However, not all the news is good. The number of toy-related injuries that send children to the emergency room is increasing, the CPSC reported. Lat year there were 186,000 emergency room-treated injuries related to toys involving children under 15. That’s up from 152,000 in 2005. On the plus side, 96% of those cases resulted in the child being treated and released without permanent harm.

More than half of last years deaths were caused by toys that children can ride. There were three deaths associated with tricycles, two deaths linked to powered riding toys and two with nonmotorized unspecified riding toys. Overall, the CPSC reports that most of the deaths involved drowning, motor vehicle involvement, or airway obstruction from a small toy or part of a toy.

The CPSC offered the following recommendations for parents buying toys for the holiday season or at any time:

  • Always buy age-appropriate toys.
  • Buy appropriate safety gear with any sports-related or riding toys.
  • Stay aware of your child’s surroundings when they play and keep young children from using ride-on toys near automobile traffic, pools and ponds.


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