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What are the toy safety standards per the CPSIA?

The holiday season is a time when children in Montana receive gifts from friends and family members. Many of those gifts are toys and those gifts are generally meant for the younger children, many of whom are not even teenagers. For those children's safety, it is important that a toy is safe because dangerous children's toys have been known to cause injuries among children, which can have some very long-term consequences.

In order to ensure the safety of children, section 106 the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 sets some standards, with which all toys that are meant for children under the age of 14 years must comply. The standards recommended by the CPSIA refer to the consumer safety standards contained in ASTM F963-11 and ASTM F963-07.1, which were recommended by the American Society for Testing and Materials.

ASTM F963-11 - The Standard Consumer Safety Specification for Toy Safety - is a comprehensive standard that takes into consideration a number of hazards that children's toys may pose. Earlier versions of the ASTM F963-11 were a mutual consensus among the government, toy manufacturers and consumers. However, with the implementation of the CPSIA in 2008, the standards propagated by the ASTM became a federal law.

According to the law, all manufacturers and importers of toys must comply with the act. In order to test the products, the manufacturer or importer must contact a laboratory that is accredited to the CPSC. A toy can only be released on the market once it is approved as safe by an authorized testing laboratory. The laws are more stringent for toys meant for children under 12 years of age. Such toys must obtain a Children's Product Certificate before their launch.

In spite of the various precautions taken by the government to ensure that children are safe while playing with their toys, the odd incident of an injury caused by a toy is not uncommon. Therefore, when accidents and injuries result from toys, it may be a wise decision to file a product liability compensation claim, which can address the unwarranted medical expenses resulting from an injury caused by dangerous children's toys.

Source: United States Consumer Product Safety Commission, "Toy Safety," Accessed Dec. 25, 2014

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