The US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), the agency responsible for monitoring consumer products, including toys, has issued a news report, which can be found here, warning consumers about the risks and dangers inherent in the holiday gift giving, specifically toys. The CPSC estimates that 192,000 toy-related, emergency department treated injuries occurred in 2012. That’s a frightening statistic.  

The report notes that the majority of toy-related fatalities in 2012 were attributed to riding toys, including tricycles and non-motorized scooters. Four youthful victims were found in swimming pools with their tricycles, and one child received a fatal head injury after his tricycle toppled over. Two fatalities were reported when children road non-motorized scooters into traffic and were hit by motor vehicles. Asphyxiation and aspiration were the next leading causes of toy- related fatalities, including two reports involving balloons and one report involving a stuffed animal.

The commission offers some excellent advice, which we are reiterating here:

  1. Children can choke or suffocate on deflated or broken balloons. Keep deflated balloons away from children younger than eight years old, and discard broken balloons immediately.
  2. Children younger than age 3 should not be given toys with small parts or small balls, which can cause choking.
  3. Riding toys, skateboards and in-line skates go fast, and falls can be deadly. Helmets and safety gear should be worn properly at all times and they should be sized to fit.
  4. Immediately discard plastic wrapping or other toy packaging before the wrapping and packaging become dangerous playthings.
  5. Battery charging should be supervised by adults, because chargers and adapters pose thermal burn hazard to young children.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of injury or death associated with the use of thousands of types of consumer products under the agency’s jurisdiction. Deaths, injuries, and property damage from consumer product incidents cost the nation more than $1 trillion annually. CPSC is committed to protecting consumers and families from products that pose a fire, electrical, chemical or mechanical hazard. CPSC’s work to help ensure the safety of consumer products—such as toys, cribs, power tools, cigarette lighters and household chemicals—contributed to a decline in the rate of deaths and injuries associated with consumer products over the past 40 years.

To report a dangerous product or a product-related injury go online to or call CPSC’s Hotline at (800) 638-2772 or teletypewriter at (301) 595-7054 for the hearing impaired. Consumers can obtain news release and recall information at, on Twitter @OnSafety or by subscribing to CPSC’s free e-mail newsletters.