As the holiday shopping season is set to kick off, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced new efforts to improve toy safety in the United States, indicating that the agency will be collaborating with border security in the coming weeks to detect and detain shipments of dangerous and unauthorized toys from entering the country.
In a press release issued last week, the U.S. CPSC indicates that it will join efforts with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to identify children’s toys that have not been approved for sale in the U.S., due to the risk that they could cause serious or fatal injuries to children.
The goal of the CPSC effort is to create a safer marketplace for holiday shoppers, so consumers do not have to worry about buying toys that have known and preventable defects that could injure children.
“CPSC’s commitment to working alongside CBP to stop shipments of dangerous toys before they reach kids can go a long way to help your holiday gifts be a source of joy, rather than tragedy,” CPSC Chairman Elliot F. Kaye said in the press release.
Over the past four years, the CPSC and CBP have detected and detained more than 8 million units consisting of roughly 4,500 different types of toys and children’s products due to safety hazards or failure to meet federal safety standards, the CPSC indicates. The products detained included high lead levels, small parts, sharp points, and label warning failures.
Despite recent data that toy recalls are actually on the decline, dropping from 172 recalls in 2008 to only 24 toy recalls so far in 2016, there are still many products that are recalled due to choking, mechanical, fire and lead hazards. Most of the toys recalled caused injuries such as bruises and cuts to the head and face. However the most hazardous toys, which accounted for 45 percent of all toy-related deaths and injuries, were non-motorized scooters.
Data from 2014 indicates that more than 251,000 children suffered serious toy-related injuries, and more than 60 were killed in toy-related incidents between 2010 and 2014. The CPSC estimates that 185,000 toy related emergency room visits resulted in at least 11 deaths in 2015, involving children under the age of 15.
Often, dangerous toys are apparent, and caregivers should always purchase toys with safety as their number one priority. Magnets, balloons, small balls and other toys with small parts, scooters and other riding toys have long been considered hazardous to children and are not recommended by the CPSC.
Earlier this month, The World Against Toys Causing Harm, Inc. ( WATCH), issued its list of nominees for 10 Worst Toys for the 2016 Holiday Season, which is the group’s 44th annual report highlighting products that pose an injury report risk for children. Included in the list are a series of toys that pose choking, suffocation, laceration, and trauma injuries.