Toys provide joy and entertainment for children. But many contain hidden life-threatening hazards for children and cause to far too many injuries. Even though toy safety has vastly improved, toys are still consistently high on the list of products recalled by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). In 2015 toys ranked third (behind clothing and nursery products); 17 toys were recalled – a total of over 370,000 units.
According to the NPD Group, a market research company, the U.S. toy industry generates over $25 billion in annual sales. According to Joan Lawrence, senior vice president of the Toy Association, toys must pass more than 100 safety and standards tests before they can be sold in the U.S. Toys that should be avoided have one or more of the following features.
- Cords and strings pose a strangulation hazard for infants and young children. Toys with long strings, cords, loops, or ribbons should be avoided.
- Sharp toys with glass or metal edges should be avoided if purchased for children less than eight years of age. Older toys that break and expose sharp edges should be removed.
- Small Parts pose a choking hazard and are banned on toys for children less than three years old. This includes removable small eyes and noses on stuffed animals and dolls and small removable squeakers on squeeze toys. Pay attention to toy labels that warn of choking hazards for children under age three.
Balloons are responsible for more chokings and suffocations in children than any other toy. Keep uninflated or broken balloons away from young children. And watch out for plastic film coverings on toys, which can also pose a choking hazard after they are removed.
- Propelled Objects such as arrows, darts, missiles, and other projectiles for children should not have sharp points. Keep hobby or sporting equipment intended for adults away from children as they could be inadvertently turned into weapons and may injure eyes. Projectiles for children should have soft cork tips, rubber suction cups, or other protective tips that cannot cause injury.
The Boston-based nonprofit called World Against Toys Causing Harm (WATCH) releases a list of the most dangerous toys every fall. Here are “WATCH’s 10 Most Dangerous Toys of 2017,” with brief comments from the nonprofit:
- Itty bittys baby plush stacking toy by Hallmark– Detachable parts could cause choking.
- Pull Along Pony by Tolo Toys Limited – The toy’s 19-inch cord violates a federal law mandating that strings on playpen and crib toys be less than 12 inches in length.
- Wonder Woman Battle-Action Sword by Mattel –The stiff plastic sword can cause facial damage or other injuries to children.
- Hand Fidgetz Spinners by Kipp Brothers – Detachable parts could cause choking.
- Spider-Man Spider-Drone – It uses rapidly spinning fan-blades to fly. The toy’s warning label says to keep moving parts away from fingers, hair, eyes and other body parts.
- Nerf Zombie Strike Dreadbolt Crossbow by Hasbro and Nerf.com – The crossbow toy can cause eye and facial injuries.
- Slackers Slackline Classic Kit by Brand 44 – This long outdoor tightrope is a strangulation hazard, especially with children.
- The Oval Xylophone by Plan Toys Inc. and Plan Creations – It features a 9.5-inch long stick which it could obstruct (or tear) the child’s airway if placed in the mouth.
- Jetts Heel Wheels by Razor USA – Sparklers on the back of these wheels which attach to shoes can burn eyes, hair, exposed skin and clothing.
- Brianna Babydoll by Melissa & Doug – Removable clothes and ponytail holders could pose a choking hazard.
If your child has been injured by a defective toy, or anyone in your family was hurt by a defective product of any kind, for legal assistance, please call The Kaplan Law Firm at 516-399-2364 or fill out our online contact form.