World Against Toys Causing Harm (W.A.T.C.H.) Has Identified the Year’s Biggest Risks

As parents look at toy shelves in a store or a lineup online in an effort to make their little ones’ Christmas, they’re probably not thinking about the dangers these products could bring. This could be a perilous mistake. Every year, companies fail to fully test their toys and/or make manufacturing mistakes that could turn playtime into a danger zone. Before you bring a new toy into your house, especially one your child is fixated on, do your due diligence to make sure it doesn’t have parts or functions that could hurt anyone.

This Year’s Top Ten Most Dangerous Toys

W.A.T.C.H. evaluates toys by looking at how they match up to safety requirements, whether they have been recalled, and how many children have been injured by each. This year, here are the toys they suggest you avoid:

  1. Nerf Ultra One: With a range of 120 feet, this blaster fires darts at speed—and could result in eye injuries, not to mention household damage.
  2. Spike the Fine Motor Hedgehog: Marketed as a fun way to help young children improve their fine motor skills, color recognition, counting, and sorting, Spike’s removable quills are a multi-purpose plaything. However, these pieces are small enough that a curious child could ingest one, or choke while trying to.
  3. Bunchems Bunch ‘n Build: These interlocking toy balls lock together in any formation, allowing children to craft 3D objects. Unfortunately, the same features that make these balls bunchable make them extremely likely to get tangled in hair—and hard to remove.
  4. Yeti: If it were real, a yeti might need long fur to survive cold winter nights—but as a stuffed animal, the fibers are likely to shed and cause a choking hazard.
  5. Nickelodeon Frozen Treats Slime: It looks good enough to eat, but if your child tries to take a bite, they might sustain internal damage from the chemicals needed for this DIY toy.
  6. Anstoy Electric Toy Gun: This gun looks so real some people might actually mistake it for a weapon. With the constant threat of school and other mass shootings, keep your child from looking suspicious by skipping this one.
  7. Diecast School Bus: Students or students-to-be might enjoy this school bus with fully moving parts, but the tires can detach and may pose a choking hazard.
  8. Flybar Pogo Trick Board: Before your child tries to bounce off anything, they should don proper safety gear. However, many of the ads for this product show children without helmets enjoying the toy. That’s a habit you don’t want your kids to pick up.
  9. Power Rangers Electronic Cheetah Claw: Though it comes with a warning to not aim for people or animals, sometimes the excitement of a game can push the rules right out of a child’s mind. The rigid plastic claws could cause serious injuries if aimed at a face or eye.
  10. Viga Pull-Along Caterpillar: This colorful caterpillar, meant to encourage toddlers to walk, has a two-foot-long cord that could become tangled around your child or even cause a strangulation hazard.

Check Your Toy Chest for These Recalled Items

Though not available for purchase anymore, these dangerous toys had to be removed from stores after parents reported injuries:

  • Target Bullseye’s Playground Wooden Toy Vehicles
  • Fisher-Price Rock ‘n Play Sleeper
  • Emoji-Themed Rechargeable Power Banks
  • Power Wheels Barbie Campers

It’s impossible to fully test every toy in a household situation, but when you’re shopping, be wary of toys with:

  • Small, detachable parts
  • Long cords
  • Materials that could be toxic if swallowed
  • Electric components

A hazard can quickly turn into an emergency should a toymaker provide insufficient warning or work with defective parts.

Are Toy-Based Injuries Common?

Last year over 220,000 children were rushed to an emergency room after a dangerous interaction with a toy. Almost half the injuries were to a child’s head and/or face. Though the number of fatalities is still unknown, some parents were saddled with the grief of loss after a dangerous toy found its way into their child’s hands. Thankfully, most children hospitalized after a toy injury will recover, but some may need long-lasting care or could have their lives changed by a disability.

We know the holidays are busy enough already, but take a few extra minutes to review these tips for gifting safety before putting any packages under the tree. In case other gifters aren’t as careful as you, keep in mind that if your child or another loved one is injured by a dangerous product, you have rights.

Contact Figueredo Law today if you have any questions.

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