Kids will be kids. But without the cognitive abilities and life experience that adults have, a harmless toy can prove dangerous for a curious child. The Consumer Product Safety Commission deals with the safety of products and regulates the need for safety warnings.
While the CPSC is usually satisfied with labels on products for children that warn of potential dangers, it has recently taken a more drastic step. The CPSC has issued outright bans on some products that could cause harm. These products are not dangerous due to how they are constructed, but rather become hazardous when used incorrectly.
Many experts believe that people have become desensitized to warning labels. Any product you can think of comes with a warning label these days – from shampoos and lotions to bicycles and booster seats. Because people see the warning labels so often, they may not pay much attention to them.
Recently, the CPSC proposed a ban on BB-sized magnet toys because children kept swallowing them. It also successfully lobbied for a recall on Bumbo baby seats after arguing that the product’s warning labels were not sufficient to prevent parents from using the seats incorrectly.
In both cases, the CPSC felt that warning labels were not enough to keep children safe. It was concerned that parents and caretakers were not immediately aware of the dangers the products could cause in the same way that they might be wary of obviously unsafe items like knives or balloons.
Not all manufacturers have been immediately accepting of the agency’s new strategy. Still, the CPSC hopes that bans like this will allow them to prevent more child injuries rather than just reacting to them after they occur.