CPSC Delivers the ABC's of Toy Safety
WASHINGTON, D.C. - As gift-givers shop for that perfect toy this holiday
season, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is
emphasizing the importance of shopping safely. Knowing your ABC's of toy
safety will make for happy holidays: (A) awareness, and knowing the (B)
benefits, for (C) consumers - (Awareness Benefits Consumers).
Awareness is not only knowing there is a CPSC and what the agency does
to protect consumers but also being aware of what poses the greatest
risks. The leading causes of toy-related fatalities include choking and
aspiration of toy parts.
The increased scrutiny of toys and the CPSC has led to B, or benefits,
to consumers. CPSC has increased the agency's inspections of toys and is
taking the action needed to remove violative products from the
marketplace. More companies are testing their products and reporting
possible safety problems.
The Chinese government has signed new agreements to conduct pre-export
inspections to prevent lead painted toys and other unsafe toys from
being exported to the U.S.
"CPSC recalled 61 toys involving more than 25 million product units in
2007, underscoring CPSC's daily commitment to keeping consumers safe 365
days a year," said Acting CPSC Chairman Nancy Nord. "Toys today are
undergoing more inspection and more intense scrutiny than ever before."
Finally C, consumers should stay informed and be aware of recalls by
signing up to receive direct e-mail notification of recalls at
www.cpsc.gov. CPSC has launched a "Drive to 1 Million" to sign up at
least 1 million consumers to receive this direct notification.
Consumers can also be more aware by shopping with CPSC's Top Safe
Shopping Tips for this year:
Ride-on Toys - Riding toys, skateboards and in-line skates go fast and
falls could be deadly. Helmets and safety gear should be sized to fit.
To choose appropriate toys for children:
Small Parts - For children younger than age three, avoid toys with small
parts, which can cause choking.
Magnets - For children under age six, avoid building sets with small
magnets. If magnets or pieces with magnets are swallowed, serious
injuries and/or death can occur.
Projectile Toys - Projectile toys such as air rockets, darts and sling
shots are for older children. Improper use of these toys can result in
serious eye injuries.
Chargers and Adapters - Charging batteries should be supervised by
adults. Chargers and adapters can pose thermal burn hazards to children.
Be a label reader. Look for toy labels that give age and safety
recommendations and use that information as a guide.
Once the gifts are open:
Select toys to suit the age, abilities, skills and interest level of the
intended child. Look for sturdy construction, such as tightly-secured
eyes, noses and other potential small parts.
For all children under 8, avoid toys that have sharp edges and points.
Immediately discard plastic wrappings on toys before they become
dangerous play things.
Keep toys appropriate for older children away from younger siblings or
Pay attention to instructions and warnings on battery chargers. Some
chargers lack any device to prevent overcharging.
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