The consumer safety group World Against Toys Causing Harm (W.A.T.C.H.) released its list of the 10 Most Dangerous Toys of 2019 last week, just in time for holiday shopping. If you have young children and teens on your shopping agenda this year, these are the products you should avoid to prevent holiday disasters and injuries.
W.A.T.C.H.’s 10 Most Dangerous Toys 2019
1. Nerf Ultra One
The Nerf Ultra One gun made by Hasbro features a dangerous motor that can fire darts with a powerful force up to 120 feet away. Made for children ages eight and up, manufactures warn that children can sustain serious harm to the eyes and battery-related injuries when misused. The Nerf darts can also be a choking hazard for children under the ages of eight who like to chew and put things in their mouths.
2. Spike The Fine Motor Hedgehog
This hazardous little animal is marketed to children as young as 18-months-old. With no manufacturer warnings provided, parents are falsely led to believe the toy is completely safe. However, the rigid plastic quills that detach from the back of Spike serve as a potential choking hazard. The quills measuring at approximately 3-1/2 inches can be easily ingested and cause young children who like to put things in their mouth to choke or suffer injuries to the throat and neck.
3. Bunchems Bunch’N Build
Bunchems come with several product warnings that lead us to question why this toy was made for children to begin with. These small plastic balls tightly stick together when children build and create quite a nightmare for parents. Recommended for children ages four and up, the plastic pieces can easily become entangled in children’s hair, as well as become a choking hazard for both kids and their pets.
4. Stuffed Yeti
Yeti is a soft, ape-like stuffed toy that is marketed to children 24 months and older. This toy wouldn’t be so dangerous if it weren’t for the long, fiber-like hairs that come loose when pulled or chewed. Being that 24-month-olds actively put everything in their mouths, this Yeti toy has been classified as an aspiration and ingestion injury risk to children who accidentally eat the hair.
5. Nickelodeon Frozen Treats Slime
Kids love slime. But parents may want to think twice about purchasing this product. Sold at popular stores such as Target and Walmart, Nickelodeon Slime Treats are recommended for children six and up. Not only does the product contain chemicals that can make kids sick if eaten, but the slime can lead to ingestion and irritation injuries if children accidentally swallow it.
6. Anstoy Electronic Toy Gun
Parents and child safety advocates have been fighting about the controversial topic of toy guns for decades. This particular one, however, is pushing the limits for its realistic appearance. According to W.A.T.C.H., with so many recent school shooting tragedies, there is no reason to make guns as realistic for children as this Anstoy toy. Even though the products are marketed to children 14 years and older, toy experts are giving this product a big thumbs down.
7. Diecast School Bus
This mini school bus made by Schylling and marketed to children three and up is not as safe as it looks. The small rubber wheels on the bus can be easily pulled off. These features make this toy bus a major choking hazard for children who like to put things in their mouths.
8. Pogo Trick Board
This pogo trick board might be even more dangerous than its predecessor, the original pogo stick. Made for children six years and older, kids who jump on this toy without a helmet or other protective gear put themselves at risk for broken bones and head injuries. Even the cover photo of this product is hazardous, showing no children using the toy with protection and only two of the three jumpers wearing a helmet.
9. Power Rangers Electronic Cheetah Claw
Making plastic claws for children is a bad idea, and the Power Ranger Electronic Cheetah Claw is no exception to the rule. Also made by Hasbro, product warnings for this hazardous claw state that the toy’s rigid plastic pieces can cause eye and facial injuries. Yet, the claw is marketed towards children as young as 5-years-old and encourages violence by using phrases such as using the “strength of the cheetah claw” to take on enemies.
10. Viga Pull-Along Caterpillar
Just because a toy is made for a baby or toddler does not make it safe. This pull-along caterpillar by Viga is targeted towards children ages 18 months and up when it should be taken off the shelves for good. This is another product that displays no warnings to parents but features a pull cord long enough to pose a strangulation and entanglement risk.
Why The List Is Made
Consumers are used to hearing about contaminated foods and drugs. Particularly after a year like 2019, when a concerning number of meat, lettuce, and blood pressure medication recalls were issued. There are strict guidelines food and drug manufacturers must follow to get their products on the market, and even then, some mistakes can slip through the cracks.
Dangerous toys, however, can easily make their way onto shelves and into the homes of families with children without a great deal of oversight to prevent harm. With minimal regulations and testing standards to ban unsafe toys from being sold, some toys have to cause mass chaos or child fatalities before they are finally placed on the recall list.
W.A.T.C.H. is a Massachusetts non-profit corporation founded by the nationally known trial lawyer and consumer advocate, Edward M. Swartz. Since 1968 and until his passing in 2010, Swartz educated the public about the dangers of child products and the life-threatening toys that cause unnecessary harm to our young. He founded the W.A.T.C.H. organization after recognizing a need for a national crusade to fight back against companies who put dangerous toys on the market.
For 40 years, W.A.T.C.H. has been holding the leaders of the toy industry accountable for their actions. Annually, this industry earns an estimated $70 billion worldwide and spends $1 billion on advertising. Safety testing, however, often serves a backseat to the profits.
Shop Safe Long Island
These 10 dangerous toys are not the only products on the market posing a risk to your children this season. Parents, do your research before buying any toys this holiday. Ensure they do not have a known history of causing harm and are not currently under a recall even though they are still on the shelf.
Most importantly, don’t ignore age recommendations when shopping. These ages limits are set for a reason. If you are buying for a young child, consider checking in with the parents first to see what types of toys would be most appropriate for them to have.
For more information on how to spot unsafe toys, check out W.A.T.C.H.’s annual WATCH OUT List here!
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