As we all rush around trying to get the perfect presents for the children in our lives (because of course who else is this holiday for?!!), it is important to take notice of the top 10 toys of 2018 that you might want avoid when shopping for your little elf (even if they’re on the “nice” list).
Every 3 minutes in the U.S. a child is treated in an emergency room for a toy-related injury. What’s even more alarming is that toys with the classic toy “dangers” like small parts, rigid materials, inaccurate warnings and labels, strings, projectiles and toxic substances continue to be manufactured every year. In addition, there were approximately 240,000 toy-related injuries and 35 child deaths in 2016. What is even more alarming is that from 1991 to 2011 there was a 40% increase in toy related injuries. So, instead of toys become safer (which you would’ve anticipated given more technology and greater safety standards), they have actually become less safe and more potentially deadly to our children.
As consumers we assume that we are kept safe from harmful toys due to recalls, unfortunately, this simply is not the case. There were 28 toys recalled in 2017 that resulted in approximately 3.5 million toy units being recalled between January 2017 and October 2018 in the U.S. and Canada. Although this number seems high, the reality is that recalls are only reactive measures, not proactive. And, all unsafe toys aren’t recalled. In addition, as online purchases of toys have increased, so has the dangers of purchasing toys that are dangerous to their children. When parents purchase toys online, they are at a disadvantage of not being able to actually touch and inspect the toy/packaging to see what the potential hazards may be. Online purchases may also allow for the opportunity to by “second-hand” toys which may have slipped by the recall process.
Lastly, even toys that are considered “safe” because they pass the existing safety standards may still be truly “unsafe” due to the fact that they contain many small parts or long parts that can come detached when they are played with causing choking hazards. In 2018 alone, there have already been 8 toys that have been recalled (this equals approximately 400,000 toy units in the U.S. and Canada).
So, the best thing parents and grandparents can do to try to help keep their children safe is to keep an eye out for W.A.T.C.H.’s 10 Worst Toys List each year. Because the Wocl Leydon Family wants you and your family to enjoy the most wonderful holiday this year, we provided the 2018 list and potential injuries below:
1. Nickelodeon Nella Princess Knight Pillow Pets Sleeptime Lites – Potential for ingestion and battery-related injuries. Manufactured/packaged for newborns 0+ years of age. Ironically the packaging says that it shouldn’t be used in a crib even though it’s intended use is for a nightlight for a baby’s room. In addition, on the packaging the manufacturer lists a “battery acid leakage” hazard.
2. Nerf Vortex VTX Praxis Blaster – Potential for eye injuries. Packaging says that children 8+ years of age should load the included ammunition and “fire 10 discs in a row with pump-action blasting!”. This force can easily present the danger of causing harm to the face or eyes.
3. Marvel Black Panther Slash Claw – Potential for eye and facial injuries. Packaging says for children 5+ years of age. They are instructed to “slash” like the “Black Panther” with the rigid plastic claws (like those of the comic book character in the movie). They do however caution not to “hot or swing at people”.
4. Power Rangers Super Ninja Steel Superstar Blade – Potential for blunt force and eye injuries. Children as young as 4 are encouraged to “power-up” with the “Super Ninja Steel” spring loaded blade (hard plastic) which clearly has the potential to cause facial, eye or other injuries.
5. Cabbage Patch Kids Dance Time Doll – Potential for choking injuries. Packaging says appropriate for 2+ age children. The doll is wearing a colorful tutu. Even though children who would normally be seen as old enough (“oral-aged”), they have a removable headband that can easily be ingested.
6. Zoo Jamz Zylophone – Potential for ingestion and choking injuries. Packaged and sold for babies 1+ years of age. There are NO WARNINGS from the manufacturer regarding the dangers of a child being able to put the 9” long drumstick handle in their mouth and ultimately occlude their airway.
7. Nici Wonderland Doll: MiniClara the Ballerina – Potential for choking injuries. Again this toy is marketed as acceptable for “oral-aged” children 2+ years of age. Yet the doll has a “friend” (a little kitten) that can easily be detached and is a potential for choking.
8. Stomp Rocket Ultra Rocket – Potential for eye, face, and other impact injuries. This toy is packaged and marketed for children 6+ years of age. The packaging says that children should “run, jump and stomp” to launch the rocket up to 200 feet. Although there are many warnings on the packaging attempting to try to prevent injuries to the eyes or face, they may not be sufficient and also the toy may not be appropriate for the age child noted on the packaging.
9. Cutting Fruit – Potential for Puncture and blunt force injuries. Because this toy is intended for children 2+ years of age, it is important to note that the “fruit” is made of hard plastic and therefore it is easy to see how the knife could easily slip causing puncture or other blunt trauma injuries.
10. Chien A Promener – Pull Along Dog – Potential for entanglement and strangulation injuries. This toy is marketed for children 12-36 months. The packaging contains no warnings regarding entanglement or strangulation. There is an industry requirement that strings on playpen and crib toys must be less than 12” in length, however manufacturers of “pull toys”, like this “Pull Along Dog” with a chord approximately 19” long do not have to adhere to such restrictions.
We hope that this information has been helpful. We hope that your children find the toys they have on their lists under the tree. But, we hope most of all that they enjoy them safely and that 2019 is a year filled with laughter, peace and happiness!
Your Wocl Leydon Family wishes you and your family a safe and joyous holiday!