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Who and what regulates toy safety in Illinois?

The recent holiday season was typical in that children throughout Illinois received toys as gifts from their families. Because many toys are intended for younger children, it is important that they are safe and do not injure young kids. An earlier post discussed some dangerous toys in the market this season.

What federal legislation affects toy safety? The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (CPSIA) established standards that all toys meant for children younger than 14 must meet to be lawfully sold in the United States. CPSIA-recommended standards are built on consumer safety standards contained in guidelines released by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM).

One of these comprehensive standards identifies the number and types of hazards that dangerous children's toys can pose. Earlier versions of the ASTM standard were commonly agreed to by government agencies, toy manufacturers and consumer groups. With the implementation of the CPSIA in 2008, ATSM's standards became nationwide law.

Who must comply with the law? All manufacturers and importers of toys must comply with the act. To test their products, manufacturers and importers must contact laboratories that are accredited by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. A toy can only be released to the market once it has been approved as safe by an accredited laboratory. Toys meant for children less than 12 must obtain a Children's Product Certificate before they can be sold.

Despite the various precautions taken by governments to ensure that children are safe while paying with their toys, children are injured by toys every year, many of them around the holidays. For parents whose children suffer injury accidents from their toys, filing a product liability compensation claim with the help of a legal professional could lead to coverage of unexpected medical expenses required to treat injuries caused by dangerous toys.

Source: CPSC.gov, "Toy Safety," accessed on Jan. 15, 2015

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