Part of our mission at KID is to regularly contribute new and influential research on product safety issues. We publish annual recall reports investigating trends in incidents, injuries, and deaths associated with recalled products, but we also investigate specific product safety issues. This week, our latest report, Choking Hazards: Are Current Product Testing Methods for Small Parts Adequate?, was published in the International Journal of Pediatrics.
Choking on small parts is one of the leading, yet preventable, causes of death and injury in infants and toddlers. Current federal regulations require testing to protect children under three years of age from choking hazards posed by small or breakable parts. This testing method involves a device called the small parts test fixture (SPTF), which represents the size of a toddler’s throat. If a product does not fit in the SPTF, then it is deemed safe to play with since it “will not fit” in a child’s esophagus. Our question was: does the SPTF, in its current form, adequately prevent choking hazards? KID’s research joined previous studies in demonstrating that children’s products with parts larger than the SPTF can still pose choking hazards to small children. In order to reduce the number of incidents, injuries, and deaths due to choking, we proposed increasing the size of the SPTF.
For more information, you can read our full report in the International Journal of Pediatrics. Visit www.KidsInDanger.org and follow us on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date on choking hazards, emerging research, and other product safety issues.