Safer Holiday Shopping and Playing Tips from the CPSC

Now that the Thanksgiving holiday has passed, the shopping season is officially under way! Last week, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (“CPSC”) released tips for a “Safer Holiday Toy Shopping and Playing Experience.” If you are one of those shoppers that got their holiday shopping finished at 3:00 a.m. on Black Friday, these tips come too late. For all other sane people, the CPSC’s tips are helpful to consider when shopping during the upcoming holidays.

According to the CPSC, from 2008 to 2010, both toy recalls and toy-related fatalities have declined. The CPSC attributes the decrease in recalls and fatalities with the increased safeguards put in placed in the recent years. Some of those safeguards included establishing lead paint and lead content limits, tracking imports and converting voluntary toy standards into mandatory standards.

Despite the decrease in toy recalls and toy-related fatalities over the past several years, the CPSC reported that toy-related injuries are increasing. “In 2009, there were an estimated 186,000 emergency room-treated injuries related to toys with children younger than 15, which is up from 152,000 injuries in 2005.” While these injuries may be associated with a toy, they were not necessarily caused by the toy. Regardless, this increase in injuries is a concern of the CPSC and, therefore, it released three main tips to help keep the holiday season incident-free:

1. Always choose age appropriate toys.
2. Always include safety gear when purchasing sports-related or ride-on toys.
3. Always take note of the location of play — avoid traffic, water, kitchens, and bathrooms.

In addition to the above, the CPSC recommended avoiding balloons and magnets for small children, immediately discarding wrapping when a toy is opened, and supervising children when they are charging batteries. The CPSC hopes that with these tips, shoppers will be armed with considerations when buying toys for their family members. Happy shopping!

Comments

  1. Ben Buchwalter says:

    Great post — I hadn't seen this report yet. I just wrote about it on my own blog and wanted to share some of my thoughts. While the improvement in toy related fatalities is certainly laudable, I think it's interesting that the CPSC credits its regulation of lead and paint, and then notes that the majority of toy deaths come from riding toys. This begs the question. Can safety agencies adequately regulate riding toys? Or are they by default susceptible to more injuries and deaths than other toys?

    Thanks again for the post.