Every year I write about children’s toys to avoid, according to W.A.T.C.H., World Against Toys Causing Harm, a group that helps raise awareness about the dangers in toys, children’s products, and recreational activities.
W.A.T.C.H.’s list of nominees for the “10 Worst Toys” of 2022 includes:
- Cocomelon Musical Learning Watch: Potential for battery ingestion injuries.
- Disney Raya’s Action & Adventure Sword: Potential for blunt force and eye injuries.
- Li’l Woodzeez Tickle-Your-Taste-Buds Bakery: Potential for choking injuries.
- Zeus Lion: Potential for ingestion/aspiration injuries.
- Dingray Musical Bath Toy: Potential for ingestion and choking injuries.
- Ooze Labs Chemistry Station: Potential for chemical-related injuries.
- Bunny Rabbit Cuddly Pillow: Potential for suffocation.
- Pop’n Fidget Spinners: Potential for choking injuries.
- Nerf Pro Gelfire Mythic Blasters: Potential for eye and facial injuries.
- Black Panther Wakanda Battle Claws: Potential for eye and facial injuries.
This year as in the past, parents, grandparents, and caregivers shouldn’t ignore toy dangers as there have been child deaths, disfigurements, and disabilities as a result of poorly designed and tested toys. One child is treated in a U.S. emergency room every three minutes for a toy-related injury.
It’s the 50th anniversary of the W.A.T.C.H. worst toy list, but toy dangers – such as small parts, strings, projectiles, toxic substances, rigid materials, and inaccurate warnings and labels – continue to reappear in new toys putting children at risk.
That’s because, according to W.A.T.C.H.:
- The Consumer Product Safety Commission or CPSC often can’t inform consumers in a timely manner about even life-threatening hazards due to a regulation requiring cooperation from manufacturers.
- Enforcement agencies, such as the CPSC, may have limited resources to police such a large industry, existing standards can be inadequate, and regulators often scramble to keep up with emerging technologies.
- Toy safety is an afterthought for manufacturers not a priority.
So be on your toes this holiday season. Inspect toys for the classic toy dangers. Inspect old toys for these defects, too. Don’t be lulled into a false sense of security that a toy is safe because of a familiar brand name on a package or due to its availability at a well-known retailer or online company.