Consumer Watchdog Group Reveals Their List of Nominations for 10 “Worst” Toys for 2021 Holiday

Wheeled toys, such as hoverboards and scooters, are of particular concern this year given their rising popularity, W.A.T.C.H. warns

At the height of the holiday shopping season, a consumer advocacy group is warning about serious risks associated with what they consider the most dangerous toys of the year, and provided tips to help families identify potentially hazardous toys already in the home.

The non-profit World Against Toys Causing Harm, Inc. (W.A.T.C.H.) released their “10 Worst Toys” nominees for the 2021 holiday season last month, which includes a variety of toys from an infant play mat and musical instrument to a Nerf Blaster.

W.A.T.C.H. placed an emphasis on wheeled toys, given the increase in both sales and injuries reported during the pandemic. It is also believed that an even greater surge in the popularity of wheeled toys is on the horizon as families and children may be seeking more outdoor activities once pandemic lockdowns are lifted.

During the pandemic, retailers have reported a much larger number of scooters, skates, and similar wheeled toys being sold. With an estimated $2.9 billion in reported sales, wheeled and ride-on toys stand out as the most popular of toy categories.

This category has also proven to be the most dangerous.

Data compiled and reviewed by the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS) between March and September of 2020, shows a 39% increase in emergency department visits for injuries related to the use of scooters, skateboards, and hoverboards by children aged 0-9. In this specific age range that is an increase of 149% over the past year. W.A.T.C.H. cautions that some wheeled toys are not being marketed with proper safety information or protective gear. Even those with seemingly extensive warnings and operation labels may have marketing and designs that could encourage uses contradictory to those warnings.

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The “10 Worst Toys of 2021” as nominated by W.A.T.C.H. are listed below. A listing with a more detailed description of the dangers posed by each item can be found in the W.A.T.C.H. press release.

Hover-1 My First Hoverboard (head and other impact injuries)

Nerf Hyper Rush-40 Blaster (eye and facial injuries)

Radio Flyer Spin ‘N Saucer (impact injuries)

Rollers Light-Up Heel Skates (blunt impact injuries)

Snake Eyes G.I. Joe Origins Ninja Strike Sickles (blunt force and/or eye injuries)

Bright Starts Tummy Time Prop & Play (suffocation hazard)

Hape Learn To Play Drum (ingestion and choking injuries)

Perfectly Cute My Lil’ Baby Feed & Go Set (ingestion and choking injuries)

Walmart “My Life As” Shopping Basket (choking injuries)

Squeakee Minis Poppy the Bunny (battery ingestion and/or chemical burns)

To better protect children from potentially hazardous toys, W.A.T.C.H. urges parents and caregivers to be wary of classic toy dangers, such as small parts that may present a choking hazard, toxic substances, rigid materials, strings, and projectiles. Extra caution should be taken when considering plush toys which could lead to infant suffocation and toys with button batteries, given their potential for chemical burns and choking injuries. New and old toys should be carefully inspected for these potential injury-causing hazards.

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