The toy industry is not as safe as we would like to believe. Thousands of dangerous products make it into the hands of innocent children and teens every year. The lucky kids walk away with a few bumps and bruises. Others experience severe or even life-threatening injuries.
If you have children of any age on your shopping list this year, research their wishlist before you buy. The consumer safety group, World Against Toys Causing Harm (W.A.T.C.H.), released their 10 Most Dangerous Toys of 2019 list just in time for the start of the holiday shopping season. The list highlights some of the most popular toys and hazards Marylanders should be watching for to prevent toy-related injuries from ruining your family’s seasonal fun.
Most Dangerous Toys of 2019
For the 47th consecutive year, W.A.T.C.H. has nominated the top 10 toys on the market known for causing harm to kids. From choking hazards to toxic chemicals to strangulation risks, these are the products to nix from your shopping list this year:
- Viga Pull-Along Caterpillar (18mo.+): A pull-along caterpillar that features a pull cord long enough to pose a strangulation and entanglement risk. (Retailers: Amazon, Toptoyusa.com)
- Power Rangers Electronic Cheetah Claw (5yr.+): This toy has rigid plastic claws that can cause eye and facial injuries, and lead to other impact injuries when used with force. (Retailers: Target, Amazon, Hasbrtoyshop.com, Best Buy, Walmart, Galactictoys.com, Toywiz.com)
- Pogo Trick Board (6yr.+): Children who use this jumping toy without a helmet or other protective gear are at risk for broken bones and traumatic head injuries. (Retailers: Learning Express, Target, Walmart, Amazon, Flybar, Kohls)
- Diecast School Bus (3yr.+): This mini school bus has small rubber wheels that can be easily pulled off and become a choking hazard. (Retailers: Magic Beans)
- Anstoy Electronic Toy Gun (14yr.+): Parents are warned not to buy this gun for its realistic appearance. W.A.T.C.H. warns that these types of “submachine guns” have led to numerous deaths over the years due to being mistaken for lethal weapons. (Retailers: Amazon, PETXT)
- Nickelodeon Frozen Treats Slime (6yr.+): This slime product contains chemicals that can make kids sick and cause irritation in the throat or stomach if ingested. (Retailers: Target, Walmart)
- Stuffed Yeti (24 mo.+): The long, fiber-like hairs on this stuffed toy come loose when pulled or chewed. This poses an aspiration and ingestion risk to young children. (Retailers: Wellesley Toy Shop, Target, eBay, Walmart, Douglascuddletoy.com, Amazon)
- Bunchems Bunch’N Build (4 yr.+): These small plastic balls bond can easily become entangled in children’s hair or become a choking hazard for both kids and pets. (Retailers: Amazon, Michael’s, Walmart, Norstromrack.com, Lightinthebox.com)
- Spike The Fine Motor Hedgehog (18 mo.+): The rigid plastic quills on this baby toy detach and can serve as a potential choking hazard. (Retailers: Magic Beans, Kohls, Amazon, eBay, Target, Walmart)
- Nerf Ultra One (8 yr.+): Gun shoots with a powerful force that can cause children eye injuries. Battery-related injuries are also possible from the gun’s motorized feature. (Retailers: Sold at Target, Walmart, and Hasbro.com.)
These toys are the only products on the market posing a risk of injury to children. Parents should be looking for the following warning signs that a toy could be harmful before purchasing any gifts for the holiday:
- Hidden Choking Hazards: Small pieces that can detach and be swallowed.
- Hidden Toxins (lead, boron, cadmium.): Kids jewelry and slime products contain dangerous chemicals that could make kids sick.
- Loud Sound Effects: Toys that pose a risk of hearing damage due to noise.
- Smart Toys: Some toys that connect with the internet can be hacked by scammers.
- Small Magnets: Toys with small magnets can be fatal for children who swallow them.
- Balloons: Toys with balloons, or balloons in general, are a huge choking hazard for young children.
How To Shop Safely
You may have scored a deal on toys this Black Friday or Cyber Monday. But don’t let a bargain put your child’s safety at risk. Keep these tips in mind when purchasing gifts for kids this season to help prevent injuries:
- Research. Research all toys before purchasing to see if they have any active recalls or a known history of causing injuries.
- Age Recommendations. Don’t ignore the age recommendations for toys. They are there for a reason. Toys that are made for older children may have smaller parts that small children can break and choke on.
- Damaged Boxes. Avoid buying toys with opened or damaged boxes in case they were returned due to defects.
- Quality. Choose toys for their quality, not quantity, to avoid cheaply made items.
- Known Companies. Purchase toys from credible sources to avoid name-brand knock-offs that could be made with harmful materials.
- Don’t Assume. Never assume that just because a toy is popular or recommended for a certain age group that it is safe. Any toy can have defects and unsafe features that lead to injuries.
Our family at D’Amore Personal Injury Law wishes everyone a safe and happy holiday shopping season. Take your time, do your research, and buy smart!
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