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Apr 23, 2006
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Toy Safety by the Numbers:

  • Approximately 3 billion toys are sold in America each year.
  • Less than 1% of toys are recalled each year, including this year.
  • The vast majority of recalls are voluntary, meaning they are done by the toy makers themselves, not forced by government.
  • The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) works with toy manufacturers, retailers and importers to ensure toy safety.
  • The CPSC consistently lists toys among the safest of 15 common consumer product categories in the home.
What is the U.S. Toy Industry is Doing to Ensure Safety:
Safety is the number one priority of the toy industry. Toy safety standards are shaped by a variety of considerations, including research on child development, dynamic safety testing, and risk analysis. The primary safety standards for the U.S. toy industry are the mandatory federal standard (Code of Federal Regulations, Commercial Practices 16 [16CFR]) and the toy industry has also developed consensus standards (ASTM F963-03 Standard Consumer Safety Specification on Toy Safety). Information about these and other U.S. safety standards is available here.

The toy industry adheres to federal toy safety standards and has an effective recall system in place as a safety net. To help ensure toy safety, major toy retailers and manufacturers have tested and retested the toys on the shelves this holiday season.

Parents Play an Important Role:
Along with industry and government, parents have an important role in toy safety. As a parent, you should always:

Buy Smart:

  • Check age grading and all toy packaging labels to make sure the toy is appropriate for your child
  • Avoid toys with small parts for children under age 3 or children who mouth toys
  • Look for toys with sturdy parts and tightly secured joints
  • Shop at a reputable retailer, one you know and trust
  • Inspect the condition of second-hand toys and make sure you have the original packaging and instructions
  • Batteries in toys should be firmly attached and not accessible to children
  • Listen to toys with noises before purchase to make sure it's appropriate for your child
Read the Label:
  • Labels and instructions on packaging can give excellent guidance for safe purchasing decisions
Organize and Supervise:
  • Follow instructions for toy assembly and use
  • Supervise children as they play
  • Be a good role model and set an example for safe play
  • Keep toys with small parts away from children under three and from children who tend to mouth objects
  • Avoid all toys with sharp points or rough edges
  • Keep toys in an easily accessible storage bin with a removable lid
  • Repair or discard broken toys
  • Teach older children to keep their toys away from younger siblings.
  • Keep a separate toy chest for older children whose toys may contain small parts not suitable for their younger siblings.