CPSC Issues New Report on Toy Safety System Effectiveness, Shows Recalls Are Down

CPSCDuring the past five years, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) have stopped more than 9.8 million units of about 3,000 different toys that violated applicable standards. These products never made it onto store shelves and were kept out of consumers’ homes.

In recent years, the CPSC has created a robust toy safety system by requiring testing by independent, third party laboratories around the world; enforcing stringent lead and phthalates limits for toys; and stopping violative and dangerous toys at ports. This fiscal year, CPSC issued only 31 toy recalls, none of which involved a lead violation. This compares with 172 toy recalls in fiscal year 2008 (19 of which were due to excessive lead); 50 recalls in 2009 (14 for lead); 46 recalls in fiscal year 2010 (3 for lead); 34 recalls in 2011 (4 for lead); and 38 recalls last year (3 for lead).

Overall, toy-related deaths involving kids younger than 15 decreased from 19 in 2010, to 17 in 2011, and 11 last year (based on reports to date). The majority of toy-related fatalities last year were attributed to riding toys, including tricycles and nonmotorized scooters. For kids younger than 15 years old, non-motorized scooters were also the category of toys associated with the most injuries last year. Frequently, these injuries involved lacerations, contusions, and abrasions to the kid’s face and head.

Asphyxiation and aspiration were the next leading causes of toy-related fatalities, including two reports involving balloons and one report involving a stuffed animal. According to a new report from the CPSC, there were an estimated 192,000 toy-related, emergency department-treated injuries last year to kids younger than 15 years.