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Consumer Watchdog for Child Safety Releases List of 10 Worst Toys of 2017

Group of child and infant toys including blocks, rattle, and pull toy

World Against Toys Causing Harm (WATCH), a nonprofit consumer watchdog group focused on toy safety, released its annual list of the top 10 most dangerous toys in 2017.

The risks associated with the toys on the last vary, from choking and burn hazards to risk of fall injuries and eye injuries. The group bemoans the alarming number of hazardous toys that continue to appear on store shelves and online retailers every year, citing a statistic from the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) that a child is treated in a U.S. emergency room every three minutes due to a toy-related injury.

WATCH’s list of the 10 worst toys of 2017 include:

  1. Itty Bittys Baby Stacking Toy (Hallmark Marketing Company, LLC)
    • Hazard: potential for choking injuries due to fabric hats and bows that can detach from the product
    • WATCH claims that the product can still be purchased online despite being recalled in August
  2. Pull Along Pony (Tolo Toys Limited)
    • Hazard: potential for strangulation and entanglement injuries
  3. Wonder Woman Battle-action Sword (Mattel)
    • Hazard: potential for blunt force injuries, including facial and other impact injuries
  4. Hand Fidgetz Spinners (Kipp Brothers)
    • Hazard: potential for choking injuries
    • A removable warning sticker says the item is not intended as a toy
  5. Spider-man Spider-drone (Marvel; Skyrocket Toys LLC)
    • Hazard: potential for eye and body impact injuries
    • Product includes warnings to keep spinning rotors away from fingers, hair, eyes, and other body parts
  6. Nerf Zombie Strike Deadbolt Crossbow (Hasbro; Nerf)
    • Hazard: potential for eye injuries
    • Marketed towards children as young as eight years old
  7. Slackers Slackline Classic Series Kit (Brand 44)
    • Hazard: potential for strangulation and fall injuries
    • Manufacturing warnings include the potential for serious injury or even death
  8. Oval Xylophone (Plan Toys, Inc.)
    • Hazard: potential for ingestion and choking injuries
    • WATCH claims that the slender and rigid drumstick handle has the potential to be mouthed and block a young child’s airway
  9. Jetts Heel Wheels (Razor USA LLC)
    • Hazard: potential for blunt impact and burn injuries
    • The manufacturing warns that the product can be dangerous and may result in injury or death, and the sparks created by the skate can burn
  10. Brianna Babydoll (Melissa & Doug)
    • Hazard: potential for choking injuries
    • WATCH claims that the doll, which is marketed to children as young as 18 months, has removable clothes, including small ponytail holders that could be ingested

WATCH states that the 10 toys in their Worst Toys list are “illustrative of some hazards in toys being sold to consumers,” but should not be taken as the only toys on the market that can pose an injury risk to children. The group believes that regulations on toy safety should be regarded as “a floor, not a ceiling,” in regards to manufacturing and selling products designed for children.

Criticism of the Annual Worst Toys List

According to USA Today, the Toy Association, a trade association for the US toy industry, criticizes WATCH’s annual Worst Toys list as creating unnecessary panic for parents and guardians. According to the Toy Association, every toy sent to market in America must go through more than 100 safety tests before being available to consumers. The trade group believes that the products found on WATCH’s list should not concern consumers.

In addition, the Toy Association rebukes the citation of the CPSC toy-related injury statistic, stating that the term “toy-related” does not necessarily mean that the injury was caused directly by a toy, only that a toy was present or nearby when the injury occurred. However, the trade group agrees that parents should review toys for potential hazards to their child prior to buying a product.

Has Your Child Been Injured by a Dangerous or Defective Toy?

If your child has suffered an injury due to a hazardous toy or a toy that was manufactured defectively, contact Thomas J. Henry. Our product liability attorneys are available 24/7, nights and weekends to evaluate your claim. Call us today to speak with an attorney and receive a free legal consultation.

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