Are toy guns too dangerous?

Robert R Tanz, K. K. Christoffel, S. Sagerman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Toy guns with projectiles may injure young children. A study was undertaken to assess the danger posed by these toys and the regulations governing them. US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) data indicate that toy guns with projectiles cause relatively few injuries, mostly to young boys. The magnitude of the problem is smaller than that of nonpowder and powder firearms. Most often, toy gun injuries are to the face and eyes. Of the estimated 818 injuries in 1980 and 1981, 2.9% required hospitalization. More than 400 days were lost from school and work, and there were nearly 3,000 days of restricted activity due to these toy gun injuries. The hazard posed by toy guns with projectiles can be reduced through the legitimate regulatory authority of the Consumer Product Safety Commission with minor impact on retail cost, toy industry sales, and the play value of the toys. The yearly cost to consumers from increased regulation would probably be similar to the annual cost of the injuries. Regulation is warranted to protect young children who use these toys.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)265-268
Number of pages4
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 1985

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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