The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) says that increased regulation and intensified oversight has resulted in a significant reduction in the number of unsafe toys reaching consumers in the U.S.
According to a press release issued in November 2013, the CPSC and U.S. Customs and Border Protection have stopped nearly 10 million units of about 3000 different toys that failed to meet U.S. regulations and standards from entering the U.S. marketplace over the past five years. This stepped-up enforcement, says the CPSC, has led to a reduction in the number of toy safety recalls as well as a reduction in the number of fatalities related to unsafe toys.
Specifically, the CPSC issued only 31 toy recalls during the federal fiscal year ending October 31. This compares with 38 toy recalls in fiscal year 2012, 34 recalls in 2011, 46 recalls in 2010, 50 recalls in 2009 and 172 recalls in 2008. Importantly, none of the 2013 recalls involved a violation of the CPSC’s lead content standard.
Toy-related deaths involving children younger than 15 are also on the decline, from 19 in 2010 to 17 in 2011 to 11 in 2012. Most of the 2012 fatalities involved, or were attributed to, riding toys such as tricycles and scooters.
“I am proud of the work we have done to build a global system of toy safety,” noted outgoing CPSC Chair Inez Tenenbaum. “When parents and grandparents walk into a toy store or visit an e-tailer, they can have confidence that the toys they see have likely been independently tested to ensure compliance.”