Parents, grandparents, and caregivers need to know what dangers to look for when they purchase toys for children this holiday season.
To help them, World Against Toys Causing Harm Inc. or W.A.T.C.H. offers its list of “10 Worst Toys of 2013.”
This year’s list contains realistic looking toy guns, a slingshot, a boomerang, and a projectile that could lead to tragic, even deadly, consequences, said Joan E. Siff, president of W.A.T.C.H. and James A. Swartz, a W.A.T.C.H. director.
“These toys, with the potential to seriously harm or kill children, continue to be found on store shelves, in catalogues, and on e-retailers’ websites,” Siff and Swartz said. “These toys, that resemble real weaponry, have no place in the hands of children. Evidence of the potential for tragedy is the recent death of a 13-year-old boy in Santa Rosa, Calif., who was fatally shot by a police officer who mistook his toy gun for a real weapon.”
Despite the recent increased focus on toy safety by the government, there remain an alarming number of dangerous toys on retail shelves, they said. The Consumer Product Safety Commission reported that in 2011, 13 toy-related deaths occurred to children under 15 years old, and about 262,300 toy-related injuries were treated in U.S. hospital emergency rooms.
This year’s worst toys, according to W.A.T.C.H. are:
1. Army Force Automatic Rifle, Chuangfa Toys Factory, $19.95. Detailed replica of a hazardous weapon.
2. Big Rock & Roll Ball Pit, The Little Tikes Co., $39.99. Photo doesn’t show the recommended adult supervision.
3. Max Steel Interactive Steel With Turbo Sword, Mattel, $27.99. Blade has the potential to cause facial or other impact injuries.
4. Disney Princess Backpack Fishing Kit, $14.98, Disney and Pure Fishing, a Division of Jarden Corp. Contains lead and may generate dust containing lead.
5. Black Widow Folding Sling Shot, Barnett Outdoors LLC, $30.75. As “most powerful slingshot in the world,” could cause severe harm.
6. Little Drummer, Hape Toys, $19.99. Long drumstick could be placed in a child’s mouth and block the airway.
7. Boomerang “Throw & Catch, Kole Imports, $1.27. Potential for impact injuries.
8. Disney Baby Snow White, Tollytots Ltd., $13.99. Dolls headband with a plastic heart on the bow poses a choking hazard.
9. N-Strike Jolt Blaster, Hasbro, $4.99. Dart can be shot with enough force to cause eye injuries.
10. The Spooner – Freestyle, Spooner Inc., $39.99. A skateboard without wheels, no information is given on safety gear.
This year W.A.T.C.H. toy report also provides information about toy recalls and explains the need for vigilance while holiday shopping.