U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) Chairman, Inez Tenenbaum, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Deputy Commissioner, David Aguilar, jointly announced that more than 2 million units of dangerous or violative toys and children’s products were seized in 2012.
Investigators from both agencies are collaborating at United States ports to keep families safe during this year’s holiday toy shopping season. Together, and over the past four years, the CPSC and CBP have stopped more than 8.5 million units of about 2,400 different toys and children’s products from entering this country due to safety hazards or the products’ failure to meet federal safety standards. By seizing dangerous toys and children’s products, those products remain off store shelves and out of consumer’s homes.
Chairman Tenenbaum and Commissioner Aguilar have urged parents to remain vigilant when making toy purchases and to always keep safety at the top of their toy shopping list. “Proactive port surveillance, strong toy standards, and educational efforts create a safer holiday toy shopping experience for consumers by keeping dangerous products off store shelves,” said Chairman Tenenbaum. “Ultimately, our goal is to protect our most vulnerable population—kids—and keep them safe this holiday season.”
“Together with CPSC, we have intercepted record amounts of unsafe products,” said Deputy Commissioner Aguilar. “We are here to raise consumers’ awareness about the very real danger of unsafe products and urge consumers to be vigilant when buying toys and children’s products this holiday season.”
In fiscal year 2012, CPSC recalled 38 toys, three involved a lead violation. Most toy recalls in 2012 were due to small parts, choking hazards or sharp points and most toy-related death reports to the CPSC involving children younger than 15-years-old were due to asphyxiation, choking, or drowning and included children choking on balloons, drowning after trying to fetch a toy from a swimming pool, or being found with tricycles in swimming pools.
The agencies provided these safety tips:
Balloons: Children can choke or suffocate on deflated or broken balloons. Keep deflated balloons away from children younger than 8-years-old; immediately discard broken balloons.
Small Balls, Toys With Small Parts: Keep these items away from children younger than the age of three; avoid toys with small parts, which can cause choking.
Scooters, Riding Toys: Riding toys, skateboards, and in-line skates go fast, and falls could be deadly. Helmets and safety gear should always be properly worn and at all times and should be sized to fit.
High Powered Magnet Sets: These are dangerous products that should be kept away from children under the age of 14; building and play sets that contain small magnets should be kept away from small children.
Once Gifts Are Opened: Immediately discard plastic wrapping and toy packaging before they become dangerous play things; keep toys appropriate for older children away from younger siblings.
Battery Charging: Must always be supervised by adults as chargers and adapters can pose thermal burn hazards to young children. Pay attention to instructions and warnings on battery chargers. Some chargers lack any mechanism to prevent overcharging.