Monday, November 21, 2011

Government Extends Deadline Requiring Toys to Be Independently Tested Before American Kids Can Play With Them

Children are hurt, seriously injured, or killed by toys every day - and this is becoming a growing danger as more and more children's products are being manufactured overseas and then imported and sold in the United States.

Toys Can Be Deadly
Fun, friendly childrens toys can cut, electrocute, or otherwise seriously injure kids of all ages. For example, the consumer advocacy group W.A.T.C.H. has published its annual most dangerous toys list at toysafety.org, with the 2010 lineup including:

1. SPY GEAR SPLIT-BLASTER (eye injuries)
2. SUPASPLAT SPLATBLASTER (eye, face impact injuries)
3. KUNG FU PANDA SWORD OF HEROES (impact injuries)
4. MY FIRST MINI CYCLE (head, impact injuries)
5. PULL ALONG CATERPILLAR (choking injuries)

Government Will Require Third Parties to Check Toys for Safety Before They Are Sold
With the growing problem of toys hurting kids, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) approved new third party testing requirements for the toy industry.

However, according to its latest press release, the CPSC has voted to give manufacturers, importers and private labelers additional time to put a third party testing program into place. This, even though they've already had 2 years to get ready for this double-check. From the CPSC:

CPSC has approved a stay of enforcement on the requirement for third party testing and certification of children's toys until December 31, 2011. The Commission will enforce third party testing and certification of compliance based on the testing for toys manufactured or imported after that date.

In the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (CPSIA), Congress required that the existing voluntary standard become a mandatory standard and directed CPSC to require testing to that standard. In May 2009, the Commission adopted the updated voluntary ASTM standard known as F 963-08 as the mandatory safety standard for toys and ASTM F 963-07ε1 as the mandatory safety standard for toy chests.

Safeguards in the mandatory toy standard strive to eliminate electrical, thermal and mechanical hazards, including cuts from broken wires, strangulations from long cords, burns from heating elements, shocks from electrical circuits and suffocations from hemispherical-shaped objects.

If your child is hurt by a toy, then you may have a claim for justice against not only the toy manufacturer, but also the distributor and the store where you purchased the product. Make sure your child is safe, then safeguard the toy (it may be evidence). Then, call your lawyer if you think you have a claim. Oftentimes, it is only from courtroom lessons that these toy makers learn to put people over profits.

By Bryant Esquenazi on August 4, 2011 1:57 PM

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