Andy Keimach: Toy Safety Every Day of the Year

by Andy Keimach | 24 Apr 2024

Industry Commentary, Op-Ed


Educating families on how to keep children safe at play remains a year-round priority for The Toy Association. While each November we mark the kickoff of the holiday season with our annual Toy Safety Awareness Month to highlight our industry’s deep commitment to safety (and share holiday toy shopping tips with parents), our safety messaging is shared throughout the year. 


Each spring, our communications team highlights the top safety tips for warm weather play with an infographic and a refresh of our consumer-facing website. I encourage everyone in the industry to share our new spring/summer safety infographic with online followers and in-store shoppers.  



Additionally, we have shareable infographics and other tips available at, including a toy shopping checklist, how to steer clear of counterfeits, and safety tips for “smart” toys. Joan Lawrence, The Toy Association’s Toy Safety Mom, will also appear in TV segments this May to discuss our tips for safe spring and summer play, including why it’s critical to buy only from reputable sellers to avoid counterfeit products that don’t comply with federal safety standards; following the age-grading and safety information on toy packaging; wearing protective gear when using all types of ride-ons; storing toys away from pools, driveways, and streets with traffic; and parental supervision, especially around swing sets and pools (even small kiddie pools). Joan’s segments will air in time for Memorial Day weekend, when much of the nation will be out enjoying the first official days of summer.  


While everyone in our industry knows manufacturers’ and retailers’ deep commitment to designing, producing, and delivering safe products that comply with 100+ stringent federal safety standards and tests, those who are less familiar with industry safety standards may not fully understand what goes into bringing a safe toy to market. For this reason, I also encourage you to share our Toy Safety 365 Days a Year video which shows how toys are tested in a lab, and includes soundbites from Joan Lawrence and an emergency room physician. Sharing these assets far and wide helps raise awareness about the safety of toys and also ensures kids and families are following age labels, reading instructions, shopping smart online, and supervising play. 


Over time, a greater awareness of toy and play safety among media and consumers will help stop the spread of misinformation, particularly among NGOs that typically release “dangerous toy” lists in Q4. We have already tracked a marked decrease in media pickup of such reports following our proactive communications over the past several years. We have even partnered with one such NGO to elevate awareness about our industry’s deep commitment to safety, proving that our collective efforts are making an impact.  


And finally, earlier this year, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) unanimously voted to approve the revised ASTM F963 as the new mandatory consumer product safety standard for toys, replacing earlier versions of the standard. The Toy Association’s Joan Lawrence chaired the subcommittee that oversaw the revisions of the standard, which was charged with ensuring it keeps pace with product innovations and the latest data on child behavior and risk. The new standard came into effect on April 20, 2024; if you haven’t yet watched The Toy Association webinar offering guidance on how to comply, please check it out here 


We are an industry that puts children’s safety and wellbeing above all else! As we continue our efforts, we hope that you will share our assets with your own communities of followers and shoppers by directing them to 

toy safety toy association

Tait & Lily, Inventors of Betcha Can't!