10 hazardous toys this holiday season
Playtime inspires creativity, imagination and learning. Unfortunately, it can also be dangerous.
One child is treated in a United States emergency room every three minutes for a toy-related injury, according to researchers from the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, OH.
For the 43rd year in a row, World Against Toys Causing Harm Inc. (W.A.T.C.H.) announced its list of the “10 Worst Toys” for 2015, which lists toys deemed dangerous for children to play with. Among the reasons the toys made the list include potential choking, allergic reactions and life threatening head and neck injuries. Some toys were also deemed dangerous because they were realistic weapons.
The items on the list include:
- “Bud” Skipit’s Wheely Cute Pull Along made by Bunnies By The Bay
- Foam dart gun made by GD. Jiefeng Toys
- Stats’ 38″ quick-folding trampoline made by Toys R Us, Inc.
- Poo-Dough made by Skyrocket Toys
- Splat X Smack Shot made by Imperial Toy
- Kick Flipper made by Playsmart
- Leonardo’s Electronic Stealth Sword made by Playmates International Company
- Kid Connection doctor play set made by Wal-Mart Stores Inc.
- Pull Along Zebra made by Early Learning Centre
- Jurassic World velociraptor claws made by Hasbro
“It’s sad to see children come to the doctor office or hospital with injuries that happened while they were having fun,” says Dr. Christopher Jamerson pediatrician at Advocate Children’s Hospital in Park Ridge, Ill. “Toys with jagged surfaces, strings and small pieces can result in a hospital visit. It’s important for parents and caregivers to understand what is and isn’t a safe toy.”
While these toys have been added to the “10 Worst Toys” list due to the danger they pose to kids, the toys can be obtained easily via the Internet. With 46 percent of purchases this holiday season, W.A.T.C.H. urges parents and caregivers to take extra precautions, particularly when buying toys online.
They offer the following advice on looking for potential safety traps:
- Limited product information online. Consumers buying toys on the Internet are already at a disadvantage as they are unable to touch and physically inspect a toy and its packaging at the time of sale for more obvious hazards. As a result, once the toy is obtained, parents should thoroughly inspect the toy and its packaging prior to putting it into the hands of a child.
- Inconsistent warnings and age recommendations. Some toys available for purchase online may have retailer warnings and age recommendations that are inconsistent with those supplied by manufacturers. In some cases, the warnings may be omitted from the Internet description completely. Such omissions and inconsistencies regarding important safety information can lead to misinformed, and potentially dangerous, consumer purchases.
- Recycled toys- Internet buyers beware. As toy themes popular in the 70s and 80s are reappearing, figurines, toys manufactured in past decades are in greater demand today. The Internet, an ever-growing frontier of “second-hand” toy buying opportunities, is largely devoid of regulations, safety protocols, and checks and balances. Parents need to inspect these toy purchases for dangerous hazards and stay away from any toys that may have been recalled, caused injuries, or are defective.
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health enews staff is a group of experienced writers from our Advocate Health Care and Aurora Health Care sites, which also includes freelance or intern writers.