The latest “Toy-Related Deaths and Injuries Report” found there were 11 deaths, and an estimated 145,500 emergency department-treated (ED) injuries in 2022 associated with toys for children 12 years and younger.
The new report, released by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), highlights the importance of safety when buying and playing with kids’ toys – even for older children.
The majority of the 11 deaths reported were attributed to choking or asphyxiation associated with small parts, balls or balloons, the report found.
Non-motorized scooters accounted for the largest share of injuries across all age groups – 35,400. Non-motorized scooters accounted for one in every five toy-related injuries to children aged 14 and younger, according to the CPSC.
Despite year-over-year shifts in injuries and deaths, CPSC researchers observed a statistically significant downward trend from 2015 to 2022 in toy-related injuries for children 14 years and younger. Evidenced by a 12 percent decrease in the estimate of toy-related ED treated injuries from 2015 (181,600) to 2022 (159,500) for children 14 years and younger, while children under the age of 13 saw a 16 percent decrease (173,200 to 145,500).
The agency said consumers should not only “think safety” about what they buy for children but should also be vigilant about where gifts are purchased, especially online.
As e-commerce retailing continues to grow year-over-year for holiday sales, Chair Hoehn-Saric urges caution when turning to online retail outlets.
“Consumers expect the products they purchase online to be as safe as those they buy in brick-and-mortar stores,” Chair Hoehn-Saric said. “While this is true when buying online directly from a manufacturer, purchasing from an online marketplace that services other sellers raises additional risks. Consumers need to educate themselves not only about what they buy, but where and from whom. It’s important not to sacrifice safety.”
Some recommendations include looking for an independent testing organization’s certification mark on toys near the manufacturer’s label and when buying secondhand from an online retailer, check CPSC.gov/recalls to determine if there were any recalls of the product.
The CPSC, in collaboration with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), seized more than 1.1 million dangerous or illegal toys in fiscal year 2023. Of those, nearly 101,000 toy seizures were lead-related.