The United States has come a long way in protecting children from unsafe toys and other children’s products. The 2008 Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act has definitely has reduced the number of recalls on children’s products. Yet recent studies reveal that an alarmingly high number of toy-related fatalities and injuries are treated in emergency medical facilities. In fact, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CSPC) received reports that 9 children under the age of 15 were killed, and an estimated 256,700 children received toy-related injuries that required medical treatment in 2013 alone.
Facts About Toy-Related Fatalities
Unfortunately, many parents are not aware of the dangers some toys present, and as a result, they pay the ultimate price. According to the report by the CSPC:
- Of the 9 toy-related fatalities reported in 2013, all 9 victims were children under the age of 12.
- 22% (two) of the fatalities were associated with riding toys.
- The remaining 78% (seven) deaths were due to asphyxiation.
Facts About Toy-Related Injuries
On average, children are treated in emergency medical facilities approximately every three minutes in the United States due to toy-related injuries. The CSPC also reports that:
- Injuries to the head and face account for an alarming 44% of toy-related injuries that were treated in hospitals.
- An estimated 43% of toy-related injuries are classified as lacerations, abrasions, or contusions.
- Approximately 69% of toy-related injuries included victims under the age of 12, with 33% of victims being under the age of five.
- Non-motorized scooters were associated with approximately 28% of toy-related injuries in 2013.
What Should Parents and Caregivers Know?
Parents and caregivers often assume that simply because a toy or other children’s product is available on store shelves, it must have been tested and proven to comply with safety standards. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. In fact, not only are many manufacturers still releasing toys and other children’s products into the marketplace that violate safety standards, some children’s products that are designed for use with very young children are not subject to any safety standards at all. In order to help ensure the safety of American children, parents and caregivers need to be vigilant when selecting toys and products for children.