New Toy Safety Guidelines Released By Ohio Department of Health
Christmas is just around the corner, and toy sales are at their highest level of the year. With many products manufactured in other countries, some toys are less safe than others. The Ohio Department of Health has outlined new toy safety guidelines based on the US. Consumer Product Safety Commission children’s toy safety rules for 2013. Luckily, new federal guidelines for toy safety has made a positive impact on the safety of toys sold in the United States.
Current Federal Toy Safety Guidelines
In 2013, the United States has the strictest toy standards and toy safeguards in the world today. The United States has the lowest allowable lead content and the lowest allowable lead pain limits in the entire world. Federal guidelines have also made previously voluntary toy standards into mandatory standards. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security also tracks shipments from other countries, which reduces the number of dangerous imported toys into the United States.
National Toy Recall Statistics
The new federal toy safety guidelines and safety-conscious steps imposed by many toy manufacturers and sellers have actually contributed to a decline in toy recalls since 2008. In 2011, there were only 34 toy recalls. In 2010, there were 46 toy recalls, 50 in 2009, and 172 in 2008. Toys recalled for lead have dropped from 19 in 2008 to only 4 in 2011.
In 2010, the CPSC reported that 181,500 children younger than age 15 were treated from toy-related injuries in 2010. Non-motorized scooters were the top product that injured children in 2010.
Steps to Ensure Toy Safety
You can protect the safety of children on your Christmas list this year by taking the following steps recommended by the Ohio Department of Health:
– Buy only age-appropriate toys for children.
– Keep deflated balloons away from children younger than 8 years of age.
– Do not give toys with small parts to children younger than three.
– Make sure children have appropriate safety gear when using riding toys- including helmets and other safety gear. Ensure that safety gear fits properly to reduce accidents.
– Do not give magnets to children younger than age 6. Swallowing magnets can lead to serious injuries or death.
– Discard all packaging from toys after gifts are open.
– Do not allow young children to play with older sibling’s toys.
– Do not allow children to change batteries. Charging batteries should be supervised by an adult. Some battery chargers do not protect against over-charging, which can injure children.
Research toys online before purchase to ensure the manufacturer complies with US safety guidelines. Look for any recalls before purchasing a toy- especially previously-owned toys.
Following these toy safeguards will help keep the children in your life safe this holiday season and into the year to come. (November 2013, https://www.odh.ohio.gov/features/odhfeatures/toysafety.aspx) (November 2013,