Safety officials aim to keep unsafe toys off store shelves

Recalled Peg Perego 850 Polaris Sportsman ride-on vehicle (Consumer Product Safety Commission)
Recalled Peg Perego 850 Polaris Sportsman ride-on vehicle (Consumer Product Safety Commission)

WASHINGTON – The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission and United States Customs and Border Protection fully intend to keep dangerous toys away from children this holiday season.

In the past four years, the CPSC and CBP have stopped the shipments of more than 8 million units of about 4,500 different types of toys and other products. The stopped shipments were due to labeling violations, sharp points, small parts and products with lead.

A report released earlier this month by the CPSC said there were an estimated 185,500 toy-related, emergency department-treated injuries and 11 deaths last year to kids under the age of 15. Riding toys were associated with the most injuries and 45 percent of toy-related deaths last year.

The following safety tips are recommended for toy buyers this holiday season:

  • Magnets – Children’s magnetic toys are covered by a strong safety standard that aims to prevent magnets from being swallowed. High-powered magnet sets that do not meet CPSC’s lifesaving standard are not permitted.
  • Balloons – Children can choke or suffocate on deflated or broken balloons. Keep deflated balloons away from children younger than 8 years old. Discard torn balloons immediately.
  • Small balls and other toys with small parts – For children younger than age 3, avoid toys with small parts, which can cause choking.
  • Scooters and other riding toys – Riding toys, skateboards and in-line skates go fast, and falls could be deadly. Helmets and safety gear should be worn properly at all times, and they should be sized to fit.

The following tips are also recommended by the CPSC once gifts are open:

  • Keep toys appropriate for older children away from younger siblings.
  • Battery charging should be supervised by adults. Chargers and adapters can pose thermal burn hazards to young children. Pay attention to instructions and warnings on battery chargers. Some chargers lack any mechanism to prevent overcharging.

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