W.A.T.C.H. Out For Dangerous Toys For Your Children’s Christmas Presents.

Christmas Presents
Christmas Gifts Under The Tree | Photo by alama.com

With the COVID-19 pandemic still going strong and getting more widespread many people are relying on shopping online rather than going into crowded stores. I won’t judge anyone who does that, but doing that does hurt our local businesses. Fed-X, UPS, the U.S. Postal Service, Amazon, and anyone else delivering the Christmas presents we buy have been swamped with the increased online shopping even before the Christmas rush. The experts say that purchases made too close to Christmas may not be delivered on time.

There is still enough time for us to get our Christmas shopping done, but many people normally 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 2020 and that is what I want to share with you. Let’s start at the beginning of their 10 Dangerous Toys List:

Calico Critters Nursery Friends| Photo by amazon.com

“Calico Critters Nursery Friends– By Epoch Co., LTD: at Walmart, Walmart.com, Amazon.com, Kohl’s, and Kohls.com, Price $14.95 – Age Recommendation: “3+ , Warnings: “WARNING! Choking Hazard-small parts. Not for children under 3 years.” (packaging) HAZARD: POTENTIAL FOR CHOKING INJURIES! W.A.T.C.H. OUT! This set of “cute” critters is labeled for ages “3+” on the throw-away packaging, however “flocked animals” are appealing to oral-age children, as recognized by the industry small parts regulation. The Calico Critters collection includes small parts, such as a pacifier, with the potential for choking injuries≥

Missile Launcher | Photo by Toysmith.com

Missile launcher”– By Toysmith, Toysmith.com, Redballoontoystore.com, at Home Goods, Price $9.99 – Age Recommendation – “5+” Warnings: “Outdoor use only. Do not aim at people or animals.” Warning, CHOKING HAZARD – small parts….” (packaging) HAZARD: POTENTIAL FOR EYE AND FACIAL INJURIES! W.A.T.C.H. OUT! 5 year old children are advised to “Go launch” this “missile” with the provided sling shot-like launcher, and “watch it soar…up to 75 feet!” The warnings and cautions make no mention of potential for eye or facial injuries. Moreover, the act of initiating launch occurs near a child’s face, as depicted on the packaging.

Marvel Avengers Vibranium Power FX Claw | Photo by amazon.com

“Marvel Avengers Vibranium Power FX Claw”– By Hasbro, at K-mart, Amazon.com, Walmart, walmart.com, Price $14.99 – Age Recommendation – “5+” Warning: “CAUTION!  Do not hit or swing at people or animals …” and other cautions on package insert. HAZARD: POTENTIAL FOR EYE AND FACIAL INJURIES! W.A.T.C.H. OUT! These rigid, plastic “power FX” claws, inspired by the famous comic book character Black Panther, are sold for 5 year olds. The manufacturer includes a caution prohibiting “hit[ing] or swing]ing] at people or animals”.

Gloria Owl | Photo by amazon.com

“Gloria Owl”– By Jellycat, Ltd, at Home Goods, Amazon.com, The Paper Source, papersource.com, Saks Fifth Avenue, sacksfifthavenue.com, Price $16.99 – Age Recommendation – “12 months +”, Warning: “WARNING! Not recommended for children under 12 months due to coarse fabric/fiber shredding” (and other warnings on throw-away tag) HAZARD: POTENTIAL FOR INGESTION/ASPIRATION INJURIES! W.A.T.C.H. OUT! This cuddly, plush owl is sold for babies as young as 12 months old. Nevertheless, even the manufacturer recognizes the toy’s long fiber-like hair may not be adequately rooted, and is prone to “shredding”. The hair, once separated, presents the potential for ingestion or aspiration injuries.

WWE Jumbo Superstar Fists | Photo by amazon.com

“WWE Jumbo Superstar Fists” – By Jakks Pacific, Inc., at Kmart, Amazon.com, Price $3.99 – Age Recommendation – “Ages 3+”, Warning: CAUTION: Adult supervision suggested. This is a toy. Simulated gloves are not to be used as a protective device” (packaging) HAZARD: POTENTIAL FOR BLUNT FORCE AND IMPACT INJURIES! W.A.T.C.H. OUT! These “jumbo” size fists are sold to enable 3 year old children to emulate pro wrestling “superstars”. No warnings or cautions are provided regarding the potential for blunt force or impact injuries.

Scientific Explorer Sci-Fi Slime| Photo by amazon.com

“Scientific Explorer Sci-Fi Slime” – By Alex Brands-Scientific Explorer, at Amazon.com, Kohls, kohls.com, and Toyexpresskids, Magic Beans, Price $19.99 – Age recommendation: “10+”, Warning: “WARNING! This set contains chemicals that may be harmful if misused. Read contents on on individual container carefully. Not to be used by children except under adult supervision,” and other cautions/warnings HAZARD: POTENTIAL FOR CHEMICAL- RELATED INJURIES! W.A.T.C.H. OUT! This “supreme slime lab” is marketed for children to create “GLOBS of gross gloppy goop!”, further identified as “magnetic” , “atomic”,and other types of “slimes”. There are numerous warnings and cautions on the box, package inserts, and the included chemicals and ingredients. For example, the zinc sulfide pouch warns that its contents “m[ay] cause eye, skin, and respiratory irritation. Harmful if swallowed…”

The Original Boomerang Interactive Stunt UFO| Photo by target.com

“The Original Boomerang Interactive Stunt UFO” – By Amax Group, at Target, Target.com, Walmart.com, Price $14.99 –  Age recommendation: “Ages 8+”,Warning: BOOMERANG UFO WARNING:”….The boomerang UFO can cause damage to the user, spectators and animals….”; WARNING! Keep hands, hair, and loose clothing away from the propeller….”, and other cautions/warnings on package and package insert. HAZARD: POTENTIAL FOR CUTTING AND PROPELLER-RELATED INJURIES! W.A.T.C.H. OUT! Children are encouraged to “PERFORM AMAZING STUNTS AND TRICKS!” by “tossing” it into the air. Despite warning about potential propeller “damage” , the manufacturer urges users to play “catch” by pass[ing] the UFO back and forth to friends….”

Boom City Racers Starter Pack| Photo by Amazon.com

“Boom City Racers Starter Pack” – By Moose Toys, LLC, at Target, Target.com, Amazon.com, Walmart.com, Price $14.89 – Age recommendation: “For ages 4+”, Warning: “WARNING! DO NOT PLAY SOUNDS CLOSE TO YOUR EAR! DO NOT AIM AT EYES OR FACE! CAUTION: DO NOT LAUNCH VEHICLE AT PEOPLE OR ANIMALS !” and other warnings/cautions on packaging and package insert. HAZARD: POTENTIAL FOR EYE AND FACE INJURIES! W.A.T.C.H. OUT! The “BOOM CITY” race cars are sold with a ripcord “launcher” so children as young as four years old can use the “stunt set” to RIP, RACE, [and] EXPLODE!” these miniature vehicles. The manufacturer provides numerous warnings and cautions, including not to aim at “eyes or face.”

My Sweet Love Lots of Love Babies Minis | Photo by W.A.T.C.H.

“My Sweet Love Lots of Love Babies Minis” – By JC Toys Group, Inc; Walmart Inc. at Walmart, Walmart.com, Price $6.97 – Age recommendation: “2+”, Warning: NONE, HAZARD: POTENTIAL FOR INGESTION AND CHOKING INJURIES! W.A.T.C.H. OUT! This “mini” baby comes with a feeding set, sold for 2 year olds as “[a]ccessories for doll use only”. The slender, rigid plastic spoon is approximately 2 3/4″ long with the potential to be mouthed and occlude a child’s airway.

Star Wars Mandalorian Darksaber| Photo by W.A.T.C.H.

And the last of the top ten is “Star Wars Mandalorian Darksaber” – By Hasbro; Disney, at Target, Target.com, Amazon.com, Walmart, Walmart.com, Bestbuy.com, Price $29.99 – Age recommendation: “4+” , Warning: “CAUTION! Do not swing, poke, or jab at people or animals”, and other cautions/warnings on packaging and package inserts. HAZARD: POTENTIAL FOR BLUNT FORCE AND EYE INJURIES! W.A.T.C.H. OUT! Young children are encouraged to “SWING FOR BATTLE…..!” with this “ancient, black bladed lightsaber” made of rigid plastic, with the potential for facial and other impact injuries.

There you have  the W.A.T.C.H. list top 10 most dangerous toys that are on their list. 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 at: www.toysafety.org.

Let me know what you would like me to talk about or explain. You can comment below or email me at: [email protected].

Tim Chuey is a Member of the American Meteorological Society and the National Weather Association and has been Awarded Seals of Approval for television weathercasting from both organizations.

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