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U.S. Issues Toy Safety Alert: Beware of Big Risks from Small Parts

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) released the ‘2022 Annual Toy-Related Deaths and Injuries Report,’ which shows that there were 145,500 hospital emergency department (ED) injuries in 2022, and 11 toy-related deaths of children 14 years old and younger, of which five deaths were caused by small parts safety issues in the product. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has issued a special alert that will be combined with special regulatory actions to guide consumers in reducing the risk of small parts safety in toys.

The risk of small parts in children's products is a growing concern. In terms of the types of products involved in the five related fatal cases mentioned above, there were two cases of bouncy balls and three cases of other types of small spheres. When toys and other children's products belong to or contain small parts, or when small parts are created by breaking or other circumstances, children aged 3 and below may put the small parts into their mouths, which may result in death or injury due to choking, inhalation, swallowing, and so on. Therefore, in order to protect the lives and health of children, major economies around the world have introduced stringent regulations and standards.

According to the relevant product standards, toys and other children's products in the impact, bending and twisting and other tests (simulation of children under 3 years of age in the normal use and abuse of the force endured by the situation), there can not be completely into the small parts of the cylinder (test the special instrument) of the debris, or else the product is considered unqualified. Analysts pointed out that product design defects are the main reason for its existence of small parts safety problems. At this stage, China's enterprises generally lack of trade initiative, the lack of samples provided by the customer, the design of the programme to verify the safety of the ability. In this way, making foreign customers in the design of the problem will lead to the final product there are safety issues. In addition, some of the decorative parts, small accessories are not strong and other production management loopholes will also exacerbate the risk.

Foreign regulatory agencies such as the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission will initiate a notified recall when problematic children's products are discovered. The companies involved are ordered to take corrective measures, or are required to withdraw from the market, the recall of sold products; heavy products have not yet entered the market is directly banned from importing, resulting in serious damage to the economic interests of enterprises, reputation and even the ‘Made in China’ reputation.

In this regard, the export of toys and other children's products manufacturers to actively respond to avoid possible trade risks.

First of all, we should tighten the ‘product compliance’ string. Enterprises should strengthen the study of foreign standards and regulations. Understand their own product-related bills, standards of the latest developments, and actively seek technical guidance from government departments. At the same time, we should strictly review the product labels attached to the applicable age of children and other information, comprehensively determine whether the product is for children aged 3 years and under, and focus on research and judgement of small parts and other risks of safety issues.

Secondly, we should tighten the net of ‘whole-process management’. Product design verification review can be promoted in steps, to verify whether the entire product and each of its removable parts is a small part, and through the simulation of children's normal use or abuse of the situation, a comprehensive judgement on the safety risks of small parts. During the production of the product, it is necessary to ensure that the physical quality of the raw and auxiliary materials is qualified, focus on monitoring the processing of sewing and other fixing procedures, and combine with the finished product inspection and other ways to ensure that the small parts are firm.

Declaration: This article comes from the Ningbo stationery industry Association.If copyright issues are involved, please contact us to delete.

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