Toys Are Safer in 2011, but Injury Rates Still Remain High

Gift buying in 2011 is likely to be a lot less traumatic and stressful than in 2008, when a series of toy-related recalls shocked the country and Los Angeles product liability lawyers. However, that doesn’t mean that parents can afford to be less vigilant this year. In spite of the fact that toy recalls are down this year, the number of children who had to be rushed to emergency rooms with toy-related injuries in 2010 was more than 181,000.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission says that 181,500 children below fifteen years of age were injured by toys last year, and 17 children of this age group died from such injuries. The previous year, the number of fatalities had been fifteen. Most of the toy-related accidents in this age group involved smaller, but widely used, products like balls and balloons that can pose a choking hazard.

The most common injuries, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission were abrasions, lacerations, and contusions. The toys that were related to the most number of injuries were non-motorized scooters. In 2011, there have been a total of 34 recalls, a drop from 46 in 2010, and a substantial drop from 172 in 2008.

However, toys in 2011 are still much safer than they used to be since the CPSC announced stronger lead paint and lead content requirements, as well as restrictions on the amount of lead in children’s products. Additionally, there are now new rules requiring third-party testing and certification of toys that are designed for children below the age of 12, as well as stronger limits on cadmium and toys.

All of these rules ensure that most of the toys that you pick up this season will be safe. It’s important however, to remember that many will not. Check the CPSC website for toy-related recalls, before shopping this season.