Every three minutes a child is treated in an emergency medical facility for a toy-related injury in the United States. Sadly, more than 251,000 serious toy-related injuries occurred in 2014 alone and a disturbing 61 children lost their lives due to accidents with toys between 2010 and 2014. Between January 2015 and November 2016 an alarming 19 defective toys (over 800,000 products) that posed safety threats were recalled. Unfortunately, many of these and other dangerous toys continue to lurk in the homes of unsuspecting families across the nation.
To help parents, grandparents, and caregivers protect their children from unsafe toys, World Against Toys Causing Harm, Inc. (WATCH) releases an annual list of dangerous toys. The most recent list was released in November of 2016. Some of the most notable include:
- Flying Heroes Superman Launcher: Sold for children as young as 4 years old, this dangerous toy projects a flying superhero and has the potential for serious eye and facial injuries.
- The Good Dinosaur Galloping Butch: Although the package does include warnings about the toy being a choking hazard and containing small parts it is designed for children as young as 3. Additionally, WATCH warns that this toy poses a risk for significant puncture wound injuries due to its rugged design.
- Slimeball Slinger: Recommended for kids just 6 years of age and up, this dangerous toy is designed similarly to a traditional sling shot. Alarmingly, it is powerful enough to shoot its slimeball ammunition a full 30 feet. According to WATCH, the toy has the potential for serious eye injuries.
- Warcraft Doomhammer: Children as young as 6 are encouraged to “feel the horde” with this heavy, rigid plastic hammer. Foreseeable use of this battle toy could result in impact injuries.
A number of additional unsafe toys are included in the WATCH list, but the list is by no means all-inclusive. In addition to staying abreast of current product recalls, parents and caregivers should be on the look out for product hazards that could cause injuries to their children. Toys and other children’s products should be thoroughly inspected to ensure they do not pose a risk for burns, falls, suffocation, choking, strangulation or other injuries. When concerns are noticed, they should be reported to the toy manufacturer and the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CSPC) as soon as possible, because even one child injured or killed is one too many.