The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s (CPSC) latest Toy-Related Deaths and Injuries report highlights the importance of safety when buying and playing with kids’ toys – even for older children. The report found there were 11 deaths, and an estimated 145,500 emergency department-treated (ED) injuries in 2022 associated with toys for children 12 years and younger.
The majority of the 11 deaths reported were attributed to choking or asphyxiation associated with small parts, balls, or balloons. Among the ED-treated injuries, non-motorized scooters accounted for the largest share of injuries across all age groups – 35,400. Non-motorized scooters accounted for one in every 5 toy-related injuries to children aged 14 and younger.
Consumers should not only “think safety” about what they buy for children but should also be vigilant about where gifts are purchased, especially online. As e-commerce retailing continues to grow year-over-year for holiday sales, Chair Hoehn-Saric is urging caution when turning to online retail outlets.
“Consumers expect the products they purchase online to be as safe as those they buy in brick-and-mortar stores,” Chair Hoehn-Saric said. “While this is true when buying online directly from a manufacturer, purchasing from an online marketplace that services other sellers raises additional risks. Consumers need to educate themselves not only about what they buy, but where and from whom. It’s important not to sacrifice safety.”
CPSC, in collaboration with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), seized more than 1.1 million dangerous or illegal toys in fiscal year 2023. Of those, nearly 101,000 toy seizures were lead related.
- Follow age guidance and other safety information on toy packaging and choose toys that match each child's interests and abilities.
- Get safety gear, including helmets, for scooters and other riding toys–and make sure that children use them every time.
- Keep small balls and toys with small parts away from children younger than age 3 and keep deflated balloons away from children younger than age 8.
- Once the gifts are open, immediately discard plastic wrappings or other packaging on toys before they become dangerous playthings.
Cooking is the leading cause of residential fires, according to CPSC’s report on Residential Fire and Loss Estimates. Of the 360,800 home fires every year, cooking fires account for nearly half of these. Thanksgiving Day is the peak day for cooking fires, with an average of 1,600 cooking fires occurring on this day – more than three times the daily average of cooking fires. CPSC data also shows that Black Americans have the highest rate of deaths from fire, nearly twice the overall rate across the population.
- Never leave cooking food unattended on the stove or in the oven.
- Only fry a turkey outside and away from your home or other flammable materials. Never use turkey fryers in an enclosed area like the garage or on the porch.
On average, there are about 160 Christmas decorating-related injuries each day during the holiday season, with over 40% of the incidents involving falls. In the 2022 holiday season (Nov. 1, 2021 - Jan.31, 2022), about 14,800 people were treated in hospital emergency departments due to holiday decorating-related injuries.
- Make sure your live Christmas tree has plenty of water and look for the “Fire Resistant” label when buying an artificial tree.
- Never leave candles unattended. Place burning candles in sight, away from flammable items, and blow or snuff them out before leaving the room. Use flameless candles whenever possible.
- Never string together more than three sets of incandescent lights, and never overload electrical outlets.
Download our Holiday Safety video, poster and b-roll that simulate the serious risks posed by using a turkey fryer too close to the home, a dry Christmas tree, and burning candles near flammable items.