We have all heard of the “Terrorist Watch List” that the government has to prevent suspected terrorists from flying on U.S. airlines. There is another list called the W.A.T.C.H. list that you need to see. With Christmas fast approaching many of us have yet to complete shopping for presents for family and friends.There is still time for us to get our Christmas shopping done, but many people put it off until the very last minute possible. In this case not yet having purchased toys for your children or grandchildren could be a very good thing.There are a lot of toys out there, both in brick-and-mortar stores and online, but do you know which ones could be hazardous to the health of your little loved ones?
The group World Against Toys Causing Harm, Inc.(“W.A.T.C.H”) has released their annual 10 Most Dangerous Toys List for 2017 and that is what I want to share with you. Let’s start at the beginning of their 10 Most Dangerous Toys List:
1) Hallmark Itty Bittys Baby Stacking Toy: Price $24.99 – Manufacturer or Distributor: Hallmark Marketing Company, LLC; Retailer(s): eBay.com; Age Recommendation: None; Warnings: None; Hazard: POTENTIAL FOR CHOKING INJURIES! W.A.T.C.H OUT! This plush Disney-themed stacking toy with four rattling rings is sold without age recommendations or warnings. The Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a recall notice on August 31, 2017 due to “fabric hats and bows that can detach, posing a choking hazard.” A Hallmark “Itty Bittys” Baby Stacking Toy was purchased online after the recall was announced.
2) Pull Along Pony: Price $19.99 – Manufacturer or Distributor: Tolo Toys Limited; Retailer(s): Magic Beans, Amazon.com, Bonanza.com; Age Recommendation: “12m+”; Warnings: None; Hazard: POTENTIAL FOR STRANGULATION AND ENTANGLEMENT INJURIES! W.A.T.C.H OUT! Despite the industry’s standard requiring strings on playpen and crib toys to be less that 12 inches in length, manufacturers are still permitted to market “pull toys” such a “Pull Along Pony” with a cord measuring 19 inches. No warnings are provided.
3) Wonder Woman Battle-Action Sword: Price $2.00 – Manufacturer or Distributor: Mattel; Retailer(s): Target, Toysrus.com, Walmart.com; Age Recommendation: “6+”; Warnings: “WARNING: small parts may be generated” and battery safety warnings; Hazard: POTENTIAL FOR BLUNT FORCE INJURIES! W.A.T.C.H OUT! Young children are encouraged to bear arms, like a popular comic book and movie character, to engage in “[f]ighting alongside men in a war to end all wars…” The rigid plastic sword blade has the potential to cause facial or other impact injuries.
4) Hand Fidgetz: Price $24.99 – Manufacturer or Distributor: Kipp Brothers; Retailer(s): Walmart, Kipp Brothers.com, Bulktoystore.com; Age Recommendation: None; Warnings: “WARNING! This product is a novelty gift item. It is not intended to be used as a toy.” (On removable sticker; Hazard: POTENTIAL FOR CHOKING INJURIES! W.A.T.C.H OUT! Fidgetz Spinners, like these bright-colored versions, can be found in retail toy aisles. These spinners remain popular with children of all ages, and some present potential small parts hazards.
5) Spider-man Spider Drone Official Movie Edition: Price $89.99 – Manufacturer or Distributor: Marvel, Skyrocket Toys, LLC; Retailer(s):Target, Best Buy, Toysrus.com, Walmart.com; Age Recommendation: “Ages 12+”; Warnings: “Drone has rotating blades that move at high speed, posing danger of …injury”; “Keep spinning rotors away from fingers, hair, eyes, and other body parts.” ; and other cautions/warnings on package/package insert.Hazard: POTENTIAL FOR EYEAND BODY IMPACT INJURIES! W.A.T.C.H OUT! This “official movie edition” remote-control drone, based on the well-known Spiderman Superhero franchise, is sold for use by children. The “performance drone” , designed to launch into the air powered by multiple rotating rotor blades is accompanied by numerous warnings, including the potential for “damage or injury.”
6) Nerf Zombie Strike Deadbolt Crossbow: Price $49.49 – Manufacturer or Distributor: Hasbro, Nerf.com; Retailer(s): Kmart, Toysrus. com, Target.com, Walmart.com ; Age Recommendation: “Age 8+”; Warnings: Do not aim or shoot at eyes or face of people or animals”, and other cautions/warnings on product, package, and package insert; Hazard: POTENTIAL FOR EYE INJURIES! W.A.T.C.H OUT! Children as young as 8-years-old are encouraged to load “arrows” into the “deadbolt” crossbow, pull back the “primary pressurized lever” and fire the projectiles in order to “strike back” at “zombies.” The force of the arrow launch presents the potential for eye and facial injuries.
7) Slackers Slackline Classic Series Kit: Price $69.99 – Manufacturer or Distributor: Brand 44; Retailer(s): Amazon.com, Dickssportinggoods.com, LL Bean, Homedepot.com, Magic Beans; Age Recommendation: “Ages 5+” (package), “Safe for all ages” (package insert); Warnings: “WARNING: strangulation hazard, CAUTION: Remember a Slickline can be a potentially dangerous piece of equipment and can cause serious injury and even death”, and other warnings/cautions.; Hazard: POTENTIAL FOR STRANGULATION AND FALL-RELATED INJURIES! W.A.T.C.H OUT! This Slackline is marketed for “all ages” pursuant to a package insert, providing a tightrope-like device intended to be anchored between two trees. The manufacturer warns of the potential for “severe injury”, including ” a strangulation hazard, especially with children.”
8) Oval Xylophone: Price $24.99 – Manufacturer or Distributor: Plan Toys, Inc., Plan Creations Co., LTD; Retailer(s): Target.com, Toysrus.com, Walmart.com, Magic Beans; Age Recommendation: “12m+”; Warnings: None; Hazard: POTENTIAL FOR CHOKING INJURIES! W.A.T.C.H OUT! This multi-colored musical instrumentis sold for babies as young as 12 months old. The manufacturer provides no warnings regarding the slender, rigid approximately 9 1/2 inch drumstick handle, which has the potential to be mouthed and occlude a child’s airway.
9) Jetts Heel Wheels: Price $33.99 or $39.99 – Manufacturer or Distributor: Razor USA, LLC, LLC; Retailer(s): Kmart, Toysrus,Walmart.com; Age Recommendation: “8+”; Warnings: “USING HEEL WHEELS CAN BE A DANGEROUS ACTIVITY AND MAY RESULT IN INJURY OR DEATH… USE AT YOUR OWN RISK…” and numerous other on package/package insert.; Hazard: POTENTIAL FOR BLUNT IMPACT AND FIRE-RELATED BURN INJURIES! W.A.T.C.H OUT! “Heel Wheels” are marketed to be strapped to heels of children’s shoes so footwear can be transformed into a type of rear-wheel roller skate. The manufacturer adds “real sparking action” to the “Jetts” with “skid pads”, as evidenced by numerous warnings, including: “Keep sparks away from eyes, hair, exposed skin and clothing. Sparks can burn.”
10) Brianna Baby Doll: Price $20.99 – Manufacturer or Distributor: Melissa & Doug; Retailer(s): Target.com, Toysrus.com; Age Recommendation: “18 months+”; Warnings: None; Hazard: POTENTIAL FOR CHOKING INJURIES! W.A.T.C.H OUT! These “huggable, soft” dolls, marketed for babies as young as 18 months old, have “removable clothing.” The pink ponytail holders are also removable, presenting the potential for ingesting and choking.
There you have the W.A.T.C.H. list top 10 most dangerous toys that are on their list for this year. No matter the age of the child or the type of toy care should be taken when purchasing children’s toys. It takes a little work to do the research, but in the end the safety of the child should be paramount. If you would like to know more about W.A.T.C.H you can follow this link to their webpage.
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