As holiday shopping season swings into full gear, a consumer safety group has released it’s annual list of the top ten “unsafe” toys, highlighting hazards associated with many products widely marketed on-line, as well as some that have already been recalled.
The World Against Toys Causing Harm, Inc. (W.A.T.C.H.), a consumer watchdog group focusing on hazardous toys, issued its nominees for the “10 Worst Toys” for the 2017 Holiday Season in the 45th Annual Report on hazardous toys. The list includes popular toys such as fidget spinners and drones, as well as popular intellectual properties like Spider-Man and Wonder Woman..
This year’s list includes potentially harmful toys sold online that should not be in the hands of children at all, the group says. WATCH emphasizes parents and caregivers should take care and focus on certain hazards when considering toys as gifts this holiday season.
“For over four decades, W.A.T.C.H. has discussed the issue of dangerous toys in the hope of bringing about change and reducing injuries to children,” the report states. “Nonetheless, there remain an alarming number of dangerous toys on store shelves, in catalogues, and on e-retailers’ websites.”
Every year toy sales reach more than $26 billion dollars across the U.S. This year, consumers are expected to spend 51% of their holiday spending online. In fact, Walmart tripled the number of online products sold and Amazon leads in online toy sales.
With that in mind, many toys sold online are safety hazards and pose a problem to unknowing parents. Many parents expect the toys they give to their children to be safe; but, unsafe toys, especially those sold online, continue to be a serious problem.
“The recurrence of many known hazards in toys in the past year is clearly suggestive of a broken system that needs fixing before more children are harmed,” WATCH emphasized in the report.
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, more than 250,000 toy-related injuries occurred in 2015. Between 2010 and 2015, 72 children died in toy-related incidents. One child is treated in a U.S. emergency room every three minutes for a toy-related injury. From 1990 to 2011, there was a 40% increase in toy-related injuries.
10 Worst Toys for 2017
This year’s W.A.T.C.H. nominees for the worst toys of 2017 include:
- Hallmark’s “Itty Bittys” Baby Stacking toy, which poses the risk of choking hazard because the fabric hats and bows may detach and be ingested by a child. The toy was recalled August 31, 2017, but is still sold online by some retailers.
- Pull Along Pony is included because the 19 inch cord may strangle or entrap a child.
- Wonder Woman Battle-Action Sword may cause facial or other impact injuries if struck against a child.
- Hand Fidgetz Spinners have small parts and may pose a choking hazard.
- Spider-man Spider-Drone Official Movie Edition may cause eye and body impact injuries from the rotating blades that move at high speeds.
- Nerf Zombie Strike Deadbolt Crossbow may cause eye injuries from arrows shot at the face.
- Slackers Slackline Classic Series Kit is a tightrope-like device which poses a strangulation hazard.
- Oval Xylophone has a 9 inch drumstick which poses a choking hazard to young children.
- Jetts Heel Wheels may cause blunt impact injuries from falls or burn injuries to children from the skid pads advertised to offer “real sparking” action.
- Brianna Babydoll poses a choking hazard from small removable ponytail holders that may be ingested.
The W.A.T.C.H. report urged parents and caregivers to take certain precautions when buying holiday toys online. Parents should beware of recalled toys still sold at online retailers, avoid toys with deadly track records, and steer away from toys with incomplete product information that may make them hazardous.