Consumers continue to face the risk of buying unsafe or dangerous toys this holiday season. That is why the U.S. federal officials are trying to keep hazardous toys manufactured in other countries from being sold in U.S. stores.
So far, federal customs and consumer protection officials have seized over two million units of dangerous toys and children’s products this year, according to the U.S. Customs and Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).
Many of the toys were seized by U.S. officials for being hazardous to a child’s health. Investigators said that some toys had very high levels of lead while other toys had sharp edges or contained small parts that could cause choking in small children.
Since 2008, seizures of imported toys and other consumer products have doubled in the U.S. The Customs and Border Protection has been targeting more than 5,000 high-risk shipments of consumer products to be examined for the CPSC. This has led to the increase in unsafe and hazardous toys and other consumer products being seized by U.S. officials.
Despite the increase in hazardous toys being confiscated by officials, children are still being injured by unsafe toys. In 2011, 13 children under the age of 15 died due to toy-related injuries, according to the CPSC. Most of the fatalities were caused by asphyxiation, choking or drowning.
An estimated 193,200 toy-related injuries were treated in emergency departments throughout the country in 2011, according the CPSC Toy-Related Deaths and Injuries report. While some of these injuries were not directly caused by a toy, many of them were associated with an unsafe or hazardous toy.
Federal officials try to keep unsafe toys off store shelves. However, unsafe or hazardous toys may still end up being sold in the U.S. Safety officials have advocated that parents be very cautious when buying toys and other products for their children and make sure to check recall notices as well as look for safety hazards when your child first plays with a toy.
Source: ABC News, “Feds Fighting to Keep Hazardous Toys Off Shelves for Holiday Season,” Pierre Thomas, Nov. 29, 2012
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