Watching your little one open his or her toys during the holidays can be a wonderful experience. Some toys, however, are less safe than others. W.A.T.C.H., or the World Against Toys Causing Harm, Inc. is a non-profit organization dedicated to informing the public about dangerous children’s toys, products, and activities, like yo-yos, Legos, or jungle gyms. Every year, W.A.T.C.H. publishes the top 10 nominees for “Worst Toys”, identifying those with the most potential to cause childhood injuries or death.
We want your children to be safe this year, and for you to avoid purchasing gifts that could potentially harm them. W.A.T.C.H.’s 42nd annual list includes:
10. Colored Hedgehog
Manufactured and sold by Toys “R” Us, this colorful plush hedgehog is sold for infants. The toy has long hair that is inadequately rooted and easily removable, creating a potential choking hazard. No warning labels of any kind are present on the toy or packaging.
9. True Legends Orcs Battle Hammer
POTENTIAL FOR BLUNT IMPACT INJURIES!
Manufactured and sold by Toys “R” Us, this toy encourages children aged 3 and up to play the part of a “Savage Orc” using this hard plastic “Battle Hammer” almost 2 feet long. There are no warning labels of any kind on the toy or packaging.
8. Lil’ Cutesies- Best Friends
Manufactured by JC Toys Group, Inc., and sold at K-Mart, Toys “R” Us, and online at Amazon.com, these dolls are intended for ages 2 and up.
Many of the toys are sold with a decorative ribbon bow that can detach from the head of the doll and cause a choking hazard. The package labels indicate to remove all packaging materials but make no mention of the bow.
7. Bottle Rocket Party
POTENTIAL FOR EYE, FACE, AND IMPACT INJURIES!
Manufactured by Norman & Globus, Inc. and sold at Walmart.com, Amazon.com, and Village Toy Shop, this “party kit” is sold to “rocketeers” ages 8 and older. Though warning labels and caution tape are included, eye protection is not.
6. Wooden Instruments
POTENTIAL FOR INGESTION AND CHOKING INJURIES!
Manufactured and sold by Walmart Stores, Inc., the multi-colored instrument set is intended for babies as young as twelve months. No warnings regarding the slender, rigid 4½” long drumstick are included on the packaging or product.
5. SWAT Electric Machine Gun
REALISTIC TOY WEAPONRY!
Manufactured by Junxing Toys Industrial Co., LTD, and sold at K-Mart, this detailed replica is recommended for ages 5 and over. In light of recent events, its is best to avoid outfitting children with realistic toy weapons. Through the years, detailed replicas have caused number of deaths and should not be sold as toys.
4. Alphabet Zoo Rock & Stack Pull Toy
POTENTIAL FOR STRANGULATION AND ENTANGLEMENT!
Manufactured by Skip Hop and sold at Amazon.com, Toys “R” Us, and Magic Beans, this toy is recommended for ages 18 months and over.
Despite industry standards requiring strings on playpen and crib toys to be less than 12”, pull toys like this are still permitted with a cord length of about 20”. The packaging includes a warning from the manufacturer, but the toy itself does not.
POTENTIAL FOR EYE INJURIES!
Manufactured by Toysmith and retailing at Amazon.com, Ebay.com, and Learning Express, the “Catapencil” is an all-ages toy featuring a miniature slingshot atop a sharpened pencil. The words “Play safe and enjoy” are included on the packaging, though there are no warnings or age recommendations.
2. Radio Flyer “Ziggle”
POTENTIAL FOREHEAD AND OTHER IMPACT INJURIES!
Manufactured by Radio Flyer, Inc. and sold at Target, Toys “R” Us, and Amazon.com, this four-wheeled cycles is aimed at ages 3 to 8. The seat is about 8” from the ground, and the low profile makes it potentially hazardous for outdoor use. Warnings are included on packaging, and helmets are recommended though not pictured.
1. Air Storm Firetek Bow
POTENTIAL FOR EYE INJURIES!
Manufactured by Zing and sold at Walmart and Amazon.com, this bow and arrow set for ages 8 and up fires “screaming whistle” arrows which can fly “up to 145ft!” Among the many included warnings are instructions that arrows not be pulled back “more than half strength,” and that the toy is not to be used in full darkness.
Go forth shoppers, armed with this information, and have a safe and happy holiday season! If you have questions about dangerous toys, please contact us for more information.