The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) team up each year to stop shipments of defective toys from overseas as well as train manufacturers about safety requirements.
Stopped shipments have included lead, small parts, sharp points and labeling requirement violations, according to the CPSC. The organization indicates that there were an estimated 185,500 toy-related, emergency department-treated injuries and 11 deaths in 2015 to children younger than 15 years old.
Most of the toy-related injuries involved cuts and bruises, with the head and face being the most commonly-affected areas.
The CPSC provides the following safety tips for children’s toys:
• Magnets – Children's magnetic toys are covered by a strong safety standard that aims to prevent magnets from being swallowed. High-powered magnet sets that do not meet CPSC’s lifesaving standard are not permitted.
• Balloons - Children can choke or suffocate on deflated or broken balloons. Keep deflated balloons away from children younger than 8 years old. Discard torn balloons immediately.
• Small balls and other toys with small parts - For children younger than age 3, avoid toys with small parts, which can cause choking.
• Scooters and other riding toys – Forty-five percent of toy-related deaths in 2015 were attributed to riding toys. Helmets and safety gear should be worn properly at all times, and they should be sized to fit.
Toys for older children should be kept away from younger siblings. Finally, battery chargers and adapters can pose thermal burn hazards to young children, and any charging should be left to adults.