The US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) are joining forces to help keep dangerous toys away from children. Their focus will be on detecting shipments of toys and children’s products at the ports, to prevent offending products from entering the streams of commerce. Over the past four years, the CPSC and CBP have reportedly stopped more than 8 million units of about 4,500 different types of toys due to a failure to meet minimum government standards.
CPSC reports that there were an estimated 185,500 toy-related, emergency department-treated injuries and 11 deaths in 2015 involving children younger than 15 years old.
Here are some safety tips to keep in mind for the Holiday season:
- Toys with small magnets present a particularly concerning ingestion hazard.
- Balloons can choke or suffocate. Children younger than 8 years old should not have access to any deflated or torn balloons.
- Children younger than 3 years old should not be in possession of small balls or other toys with small parts which can present a choking hazard.
- Helmets and safety gear must be a priority, and should be worn properly when riding scooters, skateboards, in-line skates, and other wheeled or riding toys.
- Beware of toys requiring chargers or adapters, which have the potential to overheat and can cause a thermal burn.
The non-profit organization World Against Toys Causing Harm, Inc. (W.A.T.C.H.) has been at the forefront of child safety issues for decades. Please check out its website at www.toysafety.org for this year’s “Ten Worst Toys” list, as well as other safety tips and information.