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CPSC: Toy recalls and lead violations down, but 181,500 child injuries is too high

Consumer Reports News: November 16, 2011 01:08 PM

Toy recalls have been on the decline since 2008, in part, due to new toy safeguards, along with steps taken by toy makers and sellers, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. The agency adds, however, that 181,500 child injuries per year is still too high.

A report released today by the CPSC states that about 181,500 children younger than 15 years old were treated in emergency departments due to toy-related injuries in 2010. Last year, toy-related deaths to children younger than 15 years old numbered 17. Nearly half of these were attributed to choking on balloons, small balls, and rubber balls. In 2009, the number of reported fatalities was 15.

As for industry recalls of hazardous toys, there were 34 recalls in fiscal year 2011, down from 46 in fiscal year 2010, and 50 in 2009. In 2008 there were 172 toy-related recalls. In 2011, toy recalls related to lead declined to 4, down from 19 in 2008.

Non-motorized scooters continued to be the toys associated with the most injuries, usually involving lacerations, contusions, and abrasions to the child's face and head. The CPSC notes however, that many of the incidents were associated with, but not necessarily caused by, a toy.

Stronger federal rules include:

  • Establishing the lowest lead content and lead paint limits in the world.
  • Setting a stringent limit on the use of certain phthalates.
  • Converting the voluntary toy standards into mandatory standards.
  • Requiring third party testing and certification of toys designed or intended primarily for children 12 and younger.
  • Closing in on new limits for cadmium in toys.
  • Working with the Department of Homeland Security to track shipments in transit from other countries, thereby increasing seizure of dangerous imported toys.

For safety steps from the CPSC in regard to toys and presents this holiday season, you can click here.

Toys Safer This Holiday Season Due to Stronger Safety Rules [CPSC]

Maggie Shader

   

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