One of the most important of Santa’s projects is making sure that all toys that little girls and boys receive are safe. All of Santa’s helpers out there should be doing the same! After all, not only is this his busiest time of the year; he has to check all his lists to see who has been naughty or nice!
Inez Tenenbaum, Chairman of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, has issued an important message regarding safe toys. After 2007, the year of the recall, the voice of parents was clear. Congress called for CPSC put into place new toy safety rules, which ensure that excessive amounts of toxic metals, like lead, stay out of children’s products. Many toy makers heard parents, too, and have taken safety conscious steps to rebuild your trust in them.
CPSC announced that there this year there were four recalls of toys because of lead, and only three recalls from lead in the previous year. So far, there have been a total of 34 toy recalls in 2011. CPSC works with Customs and Border Protection to check the ports of our nation, and see that toy makers from around the world have removed the lead from their products. CPSC also issued a new rule that requires periodic third-party testing and certification for toys and all children’s products designed or intended primarily for those 12 and younger.
Now, while safety rests mainly with distributors, manufacturers, and CPSC, parents also play a key role. New toys are safer than ever before; however deaths and injuries are still occurring with some products that have been around for a long time. More than 181,000 children younger than 15 were treated in emergency rooms in 2010, most from accidents while riding a scooter.
Here are suggestions from Chairman Tenenbaum, and Blog4Safety:
- Find all pieces of a popped balloon and throw them away immediately.
- Keep all small magnets or toys with small magnets away from children under 6.
- If children are riding scooters, skateboards, in-line skates, or riding toys, be sure they wear a helmet and stay away from traffic.
- Most toys’ designs are suited for the appropriate ages.
- Toys must be properly labeled. Don’t assume that all toys are safe.
- Be sure that soft, plush animals are washable and have secure eyes and noses that won’t come off.
- Do not purchase BB or pellet guns for children under age 16.
- Avoid toys with cords or long strings that could cause strangulation in small tots.
Santa says, “Let’s play it safe with our toys this year!” December is designated as Safe Toys and Gifts Month, by Prevent Blindness America. We will be reminding you of many safety themes as the month of December progresses.