The holiday season can be stressful enough, so you don't need worrying about the toys you buy for your kids to add to it.
Along those lines, there is some good news. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reports there's been a decline in toy recalls in the past few years, so that should take some of the pressure off parents.
In 2015, CPSC issued 25 toy recalls, compared with 172 in 2008. But, even with that decline, too many toys that are unsafe continue to show up at U.S. ports. Thankfully, they never get into kids' hands.
The agency also receives reports of kids who have suffered toy-related injuries -- and even deaths. A report released for calendar year 2014 shows an estimated 183,800 toy-related injuries and 11 deaths. For toy-related deaths and injuries, it is important to note that although a toy was associated with many of the incidents, the toy was not necessarily the cause of the death or injury.
What to do
The CPSC offers the following tips on what you can do to help keep your little ones safe:
- Choose age appropriate toys by reading the age label on the toy. For children younger than three, avoid toys with small parts, which can cause choking. In particular avoid deflated or broken balloons, small parts, or small balls.
- Scooters and other riding toys, such as skateboards and in-line skates, go fast -- and falls could be deadly. Helmets and safety gear 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.
- Magnets -- Children's magnetic toys are covered by a strong safety standard that prevents magnets from being swallowed. High-powered magnet sets, which are covered by a mandatory standard, also have small magnets that are dangerous and should be kept away from children. Whether marketed for children or adults, building and play sets with small magnets should also be kept away from small children.