When the safety of their young children is at issue, most parents in Orange County take a keen interest. Accordingly, a recent report about dangerous toys will likely concern these parents that have young kids.
Data from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission shows alarming facts about the safety of children's products that are manufactured outside of the U.S. The Commission is responsible for regulating roughly 10,000 different products including clothing, toys and home appliances. But, the data shows that it inspects only about 1 percent of these products that are imported into the country.
The low odds of the Commission detecting a dangerous import means that manufacturers abroad can roll the dice when it comes to saving money at the expense of the safety of their products. This means that countless low-cost, potentially dangerous products are making their way into stores around the country. This is especially troublesome when it comes to inexpensive children's toys that are sold in Orange County stores like Dollar Tree.
The executive director of Kids in Danger, which is a group that promotes safer children's products, expressed concern that a retailer like Target Corp. or Dollar Tree could repeatedly be cited by the Commission for importing dangerous products.
In one tragic example of what can go wrong with these products, a 4-year-old girl died after choking on a marker cap that was part of a $1 set that her parents bought from Dollar Tree. The set did not including warnings about the choking dangers, and the size of the cap did not comply with international safety standards for toys. However, it appears that the company may have relied on the fact that certain writing implements are exempt from such labeling requirements.
Death from defective products is a concerning problem, but it is even more difficult to cope with when children are in danger. No amount of company cost savings is worth the life of an innocent child. Victims of a manufacturer's or a retailer's negligence should hold those parties legally accountable.
Source: Bloomberg, "The cheap toys you buy your kid are rarely getting inspected," Renee Dudley, April 7, 2015