WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA), Safe Kids Worldwide, and The Toy Association are joining together to promote toy safety and smart purchasing practices for parents, grandparents, and loved ones this holiday season. The groups are collaborating to provide consumer guidance and Toy Safety Shopping Tips to help elevate consumer toy safety awareness during the year’s busiest shopping season.
“By working collaboratively, CPSC’s toy safety tips can reach more people this holiday toy buying season. We all have the same goal, which is to keep children safe during the holidays and all year long,” said Acting CPSC Chairman Buerkle.
“CPSC’s mission is safety. Whether it is working with Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to stop unsafe products at the ports, recalling hazardous products that have entered the marketplace, or educating businesses on how to comply with safety regulations, CPSC works every day to keep unsafe products off store shelves and out of consumers’, especially children’s, hands. U.S. toy safety standards are among the toughest in the world, but injuries still occur. It is crucial that parents and caregivers heed this call to keep safety in mind when shopping for toys this holiday season so that together we can ensure the safety of our most vulnerable consumers,” said Buerkle.
“Nothing is more important than the safety of a child. As the trade association for America’s most recognized brands, our members work year-round to ensure that all products sold in their stores and online meet or exceed state and federal requirements. While consumers purchase their holiday presents, we are encouraging parents and loved ones to “check out before they check out”— look for and follow safety guidance, heed the age grade listed on toy packaging, and buy from retailers they know and trust. Retailers want all families to have fun and safe holidays. We are proud to be joining with the CPSC, Safe Kids, and the Toy Association to protect our youngest customers by promoting toy safety,” said Kathleen McGuigan, Deputy General Counsel and Senior Vice President for RILA.
“The toy industry, safety community and the Consumer Product Safety Commission have made great strides in the area of toy safety. Toys are now safer than they’ve ever been before – fewer are being recalled, and dangerous products imported from other nations are being stopped at the border. That said, parents still have a job to do to ensure their child is safe. Give the gift of safety by following age-specific guidelines and separating toys by age, because toys intended for older kids may pose a risk to younger, curious siblings,” said Anthony Green, Chief Advocacy and Network Officer for Safe Kids Worldwide.
“The holidays can be a stressful time of year, and toy shopping need not add to that stress,” said Steve Pasierb, President/CEO, The Toy Association. “Our member companies take product safety seriously every day of the year; and we want families to have fun finding the perfect holiday toys to delight the children in their lives. They can shop with confidence knowing that the toys being sold by U.S. companies at reputable retailers are subject to the most stringent regulations in the world and are tested for compliance.”
While CPSC, retailers, toymakers, and nonprofits are committed to ensuring the safety of toys, it is equally important that parents and caregivers take an active role in ensuring safe and fun play. That is why the groups issued the following tips for consumers when purchasing toys:
- Check the label: Follow age guidance and other safety information on packaging (age grading is based on safety concerns and on the developmental appropriateness for children).
- Avoid toys with small parts, as well as marbles and small balls, for children under age three.
- Ensure that stuffed toys have age-appropriate features such as embroidered or secured eyes and noses for younger children and seams that are reinforced to withstand an older child’s play.
- Be careful with magnets: High-powered magnet sets are a safety risk to children – toddler through teen. Children have swallowed loose magnets, causing serious intestinal injuries.
- Choose toys that match your child's interests and abilities as well as your family's play environment.
- Get safety gear. With scooters and other riding toys, be sure to include helmets. Helmets should be worn properly at all times, and they should be sized to fit.
- Know your seller. Purchase toys from retailers you know and trust.
To learn more about toy safety, click here. To see how CPSC inspects for unsafe products at the ports, watch our new video, and remember – give the gift of safety this holiday season by choosing toys for kids wisely!