December is Toy Safety Month

While shopping for toys this holiday season that have not been delayed by supply chain issues, make sure the toy is safe. December is Safe Toys and Gifts Awareness Month. Every holiday season, thousands of children end up in the emergency room for toy-related injuries. In many cases these can be avoided by purchasing age-appropriate gifts, ensuring the toy is in good shape, and confirming that the toy meets toy safety standards, especially for infants and children under age three.

As reported by Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) in 2018, approximately 166,200 children were treated at hospital emergency rooms for toy-related injuries and there were 17 deaths of children younger than 15. Riding toys and incidents of choking on small parts, like small balls and balloons are responsible for the majority of toy injuries and deaths among children ages 14 and under.

There are two important steps every gift-giver should observe:

  • Inspect Toys Before Purchasing
    • Look for sharp points, edges, and parts that can fly off.
    • NEVER give small toys with removable magnets or “button” batteries. These can cause serious injury or even death if ingested.
    • Look for labels that assure you the toys have passed a safety inspection. “ATSM” means the toy has met the American Society for Testing and Materials standards.
    • Research the toy online to make sure there aren’t any recalls on the CPSC website.
  • Make Sure the toy is Age-appropriate
    • Not every toy is meant for every child.
    • Keep in mind the child’s age and development level (most toys offer an age range for guidance).
    • If shopping for infants and children with special needs, look for toys that appeal to the senses (sound, light, movement, texture, etc.)
    • Remember the rule: If the piece can fit in a toilet paper roll, it is not meant for children under 3 years of age.

Keep these tips in mind when shopping in December during Safe Toys and Gifts Month to create a happy, healthy, and safe gift-giving experience for all involved. CED’s engineers investigate accidents and claims involving toys to determine if the cause was human factors, product design, or another factor. Many product liability cases require a human factors expert to determine if interaction with the product was reasonable and acceptable. Contact us to review your next case or submit a case request online.