For more than forty years, W.A.T.C.H., or World Against Toys Causing Harm, has been publishing a list of most dangerous toys for children yearly. In November, they revealed their 2017 Top 10 List at a Boston children’s hospital. The Massachusetts-based, non-profit organization was founded by a concerned trial lawyer who became an advocate for children’s safety. Warnings from the group cover not only children’s toys, but also children’s furniture, clothing, and playground equipment.
The W.A.T.C.H. list for 2017 includes toys from several different makers intended for all ages. A Hallmark rattling ring stacker has bows and other decorations that can detach and pose a choking hazard. This toy was recalled for that reason by the Consumer Product Safety Commission, but apparently was still available for purchase online. W.A.T.C.H. is particularly concerned about the lack of regulation of internet purchases. Without the opportunity to physically inspect a toy before purchasing, consumers are at a disadvantage, unless they have a recall notice and other safety information at hand.
Fidget spinners, the latest craze among school children, also pose a choking hazard if moving parts come undone. “Pull Along Pony,” from Tolo Toys, was cited because the string is 19 inches long, despite the industry safety standard to be less than 12 inches to prevent strangulation. Girls who want to play superhero are not recommended to use the Wonder Woman Battle-Action Sword from Mattel, which W.A.T.C.H. states is not flexible enough to avoid causing facial and other impact injuries. Parents should look for toys with non-rigid plastic parts.
Drones continue to be popular gifts, but the official movie edition Spider-drone, from Marvel, is a threat to children because of the multiple high-speed rotor blades. Many children already own Nerf guns for play battles, but the new Nerf “Zombie Strike” Deadbolt Crossbow has enough pressure when firing arrows to cause facial injuries.
Dolls have also made the most dangerous toy list. Melissa and Doug’s “Brianna Babydoll” has ponytail holders that are removable, and therefore, are a potential choking hazard for toddlers. For older children, Razor’s “Heel Wheels,” transforming regular shoes into rear wheel skates, are a fire hazard because they are manufactured with sparking action skid pads that can throw sparks onto clothing and hair.
Other toys cited by W.A.T.C.H. consisted of a “Slackline” tightrope, made to set up between trees for outdoor play, that warns of a strangulation hazard, and a xylophone that provided no warning for the stick to be a choking hazard. W.A.T.C.H. points to the numerous annual recalls of defective toys and says many web sales are not monitored for recalls. Toys are sold online from consumer to consumer through sites like eBay and Craig’s List. Parents need to be more vigilant about the toys they choose as gifts for their children. W.A.T.C.H. stresses that awareness of dangerous toys can truly save lives.
Manufacturers have a responsibility to produce products that are safe for consumers to use. If you or someone you love was injured by a defective toy or product, you may be eligible for compensation for your injuries. Trenton personal injury lawyers at Davis & Brusca, LLC will review your case for free. Call 609-786-2540 or contact us online to schedule an appointment. From our offices in Princeton and Trenton, we represent clients throughout New Jersey.