Better Standards Could Mean Safer Holiday Toys

Head of Consumer Product Safety Commission says tougher safeguards for toys mean better choices for families this holiday season.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The government says tougher safeguards for toys mean better choices for families this holiday season.

But it's important to buy age-appropriate toys, have the proper safety equipment and make sure kids play in safe surroundings.

Consumer Product Safety Commission head Inez Tenenbaum told The Associated Press on Thursday that tough U.S. standards on lead content are one reason for a decline in toy recalls.

There have been fewer than 45 recalls this year, compared with 50 a year ago and 172 in 2008.

The agency also says it received 12 reports last year of toy-related deaths involving kids younger than 15. That's just half as many as in each of the two prior years.

The bad news: Toy-related injuries are rising.

There were 186,000 emergency room visits last year by kids for injuries related to toys, compared with 152,000 in 2005.

More in Laws & Regulations