Safe Toys and Gifts Month: Which are 2015’s Ten Worst Toys?

World Against Toys Causing Harm, Inc. (W.A.T.C.H.) has released 43rd Annual Report Urges Parents to Beware of the Dangers Associated with Online Purchases of Potentially Harmful Toys. This includes the top – or in this case bottom – 10 most dangerous toys for 2015. And the winners – or losers – are:

W.A.T.C.H. 2015 ten worst toys

1.“Bud” Skipit’s Wheely Cute Pull Along

Price

$29.99

Manufacturer/Distributor

Bunnies By The Bay

Recommended age

Babies 6 months and older

Warnings

None

Hazard

Potential for choking injuries

Description

Soft, plush puppy pull toy marketed for infants; it rests on two sets of red wooden wheels with blue hub caps. On June 16, 2015, certain lots were recalled because the hub caps “can break or come off at the wheel, posing a choking hazard for young children.”

2.Foam Dart Gun

Price

$13.99

Manufacturer/Distributor

GD.Jiefeng Toys

Recommended age

For Ages 3 & Up

Warnings

Do not aim at eyes or face. TO avoid injury: Do not modify darts, and other warnings (package only)

Hazard

Realistic toy weaponry

Description

According to W.A.T.C.H., “there is no excuse for outfitting children with realistic toy weapons designed to produce potentially dangerous and unnecessary thrills.”

3.Stats 38 Quick Folding Trampoline

Price

$49.99

Manufacturer/Distributor

Toys R Us, Inc.

Recommended age

6+

Warnings

Performing any physical activity presents a risk of injury. Adult supervision required” (packaging), and other warnings/cautions on packaging and packaging insert

Hazard

Potential for head, neck, and other bodily injuries

Description

The product instructs that it must be used “only with adult supervision,” but the photo shows a child bouncing alone. More condemningly, the package insert cautions partly read, “Landing on the head or neck can cause serious injury, paralysis, or death, even when landing in the middle of the bed.”

4.Poo-Dough

Price

$4.99

Manufacturer/Distributor

Skyrocket Toys LLC

Recommended age

3+

Warnings

Contains wheat

Hazard

Potential for allergy reactions

Description

In addition to promoting coprophilia, this product “contains an “allergy notice” on the throw-away packaging that the dough contains wheat. Allergic reactions to wheat include symptoms ranging from hives, headaches and difficulty breathing, to life-threatening anaphylaxis.”

5.Splat X Smack Shot

Price

$10.00

Manufacturer/Distributor

Imperial Toy LLC

Recommended age

8+

Warnings

Do not aim or shoot at people or animals”; “Launcher should never be aimed at eyes, face, people or animals”; “Anyone within close distance…should be alerted prior to firing…”; and others

Hazard

Potential for eye injuries

Description

Similar to a slingshot; includes ammo capable of firing “up to 100ft.”

6.Kick Flipper

Price

$19.99

Manufacturer/Distributor

Playsmart Inc.

Recommended age

5+

Warnings

Do not use on stairs, hills, or inclines”, and others

Hazard

Potential for head and impact injuries

Description

A rigid plastic board marketed to children as “a skateboard without wheels!” Users are encouraged to “[l]earn tricks” and “Kick it! Flip it! Pop it!” The manufacturer does not mention or show safety gear on the packaging.

7.Leonardo’s Electronic Stealth Sword

Price

$24.99

Manufacturer/Distributor

Playmates International Company Ltd.

Recommended age

Ages 4 and up

Warnings

Not suitable for children under 3 years. Small parts

Hazard

Potential for blunt force injuries

Description

Rigid, plastic sword associated with Teenage Ninja Mutant Turtle Leonardo; blade can cause facial or other impact injuries.

8.Kid Connection Doctor Play Set

Price

$4.97

Manufacturer/Distributor

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.

Recommended age

2+

Warnings

None

Hazard

Potential for ingestion and choking injuries

Description

Multi-colored play set that includes “everything you need to play doctor!” Case in point, a tongue depressor (not this, which is the real thing) measuring about 4¾ inches in length. Small children are invited to introduce this into their mouths, presenting the potential to occlude the airway – not mention to potential for gag reflex (hate it when that happens).

9.Pull Along Zebra

Price

$20.99

Manufacturer/Distributor

Early Learning Centre

Recommended age

12-36 months

Warnings

Remember babies and young children have no idea what is dangerous or potentially harmful, so supervision is important….

Hazard

Potential for strangulation and entanglement injuries

Description

Pull toy with a cord measuring approximately 21 inches; the industry’s standard is less than 12 inches.

10.Jurassic World Velociraptor Claws

Price

$19.99

Manufacturer/Distributor

Hasbro

Recommended age

4+

Warnings

Small parts will be generated. Not for children under 3 years

Hazard

Potential for eye and facial injuries

Description

Oversized claws based on the Jurassic World franchise that enable 4-year-olds to “claw like a raptor!” No warnings or cautions are included concerning the potential for eye and facial injuries.

 

I personally would give the dart gun a break; that’s just taking things too far (can I hear a “will anyone please think of the children”?!). In any case, here are a few things to keep in mind when buying toys for your or somebody else’s children:

·         Check toys before purchasing.

·         Avoid toys that shoot or include parts that fly off, sharp edges or points.

·         Toys should be able to withstand impact without breaking, being crushed, or being pulled apart easily.

·         Pick toys that may appeal to different senses such as sound, movement, and texture for children with special needs.

·         Inspect toys your children receive for age, skill level, and developmental appropriateness before allowing them to be play with said toys.

·         Check for labels such as ATSM (meets American Society for Testing and Materials standards) assuring the toy passed safety inspections.

·         Sports equipment should always be accompanied by protective gear.

·         Learn about lead exposure from toys, symptoms of lead poisoning, and what kinds of toys have been recalled.

·         Don’t give young children toys with small parts such as magnets and ‘button’ batteries.

·         Don’t give toys with ropes and cords, or heating elements.

·         Don’t give crayons and markers not labeled ‘non-toxic.’

Related: Which toys are the most dangerous for children?