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Don’t Play with Toy Safety: CPSC Tips for Safe Gifts

Release Date: November 16, 2017
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    CPSC logo

WASHINGTON, D.C. – As the nation enters the busy holiday season, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is issuing a reminder about toy safety. “Toy safety continues to be a top priority for CPSC, especially during this season of gift giving,” says CPSC Acting Chairman Ann Marie Buerkle.



A new report released today by CPSC, estimates there were 174,100 toy-related emergency department-treated injuries and seven deaths in 2016 to children younger than 15. Riding toys, specifically non-motorized scooters, were the toy category associated with the most injuries and nearly half of toy-related deaths. All of the riding toy deaths were due to motor vehicle involvement. Most of the injuries involved cuts and bruises to the head and face.



CPSC has the most stringent toy safety standards in the world and works hand in hand with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) at the nation’s ports to stop dangerous toys from entering the U.S. In fiscal year 2017 there were more than 745,000 toys seized at the ports for violating toy standards.  Nearly 360,000 toys with lead were seized.  Because of the collaborative work with CBP, these violative products never made it onto store shelves and were kept out of consumers’ homes.



In fiscal year 2017 CPSC issued 28 toy recalls. Toys were recalled for defects including choking, mechanical hazards and fire hazards that can injure a child. Consumers should always check their homes and toy boxes for previously recalled toys.



CPSC, along with Kids In Danger and the Toy Association, is urging consumers to follow age recommendations on packaging.

“Safety is the toy industry’s top priority every day of the year – while there are simple steps that parents and caregivers can also take to ensure that playtime is safe,” says Steve Pasierb, president & CEO of The Toy Association.

“It is so important to have a strong agency such as CPSC working to keep dangerous toys off store shelves and online marketplaces,” says Nancy Cowles, Executive Director of KID (Kids In Danger). “Families can help keep children safe by reporting safety incidents involving toys or other products at and following developmental guidelines when purchasing toys.” 



International collaboration is also key when it comes to toy safety. This week, Acting Chairman Buerkle is taking part in a toy safety training seminar with CPSC’s counterpart agency—The Bureau of Standards, Metrology and Inspection (BSMI).  “I want to make sure that international suppliers who make products for the U.S. market know our rules, understand our requirements, and put safety first.  By working together with industry to ensure safer products, the CPSC serves the best interest of U.S. consumers,” said Acting Chairman Buerkle.


  • Check the label: Choose age appropriate toys by reading the age label on the toy. Children younger than 3 should not have access to toys with small parts, which can cause choking. Also avoid  marbles and small balls for children under 3.
  • Get safety gear. With scooters and other riding toys, supervision is key along with proper safety gear that includes helmets. Helmets should be worn properly at all times and they should be sized to fit. Avoid riding a scooter on a street or roadway with other motor vehicles.
  • Hoverboards: Although not considered a toy, hoverboards should be compliant with UL 2272 safety standard. 
  • Be careful with magnets: High powered magnet sets are dangerous and should be kept away from children under 14. Building and play sets with small magnets should also be kept away from small children.



Video: CPSC Acting Chairman Ann Marie Buerkle – Give The Gift Of Safety

For more information on toy safety click here.

For more information on recalls check here.

Also check out our OnSafety blog.


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About the U.S. CPSC
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risk of injury or death associated with the use of thousands of types of consumer products. Deaths, injuries, and property damage from consumer product-related incidents cost the nation more than $1 trillion annually. CPSC's work to ensure the safety of consumer products has contributed to a decline in the rate of injuries associated with consumer products over the past 50 years. 

Federal law prohibits any person from selling products subject to a Commission ordered recall or a voluntary recall undertaken in consultation with the CPSC.

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