Shopping is different this holiday season. However, pandemic or not, one thing has not changed, the need to make sure the toys we buy are safe.
As in years past, The Terrell • Hogan personal injury and wrongful death law firm wants to get the word out about toy safety and recalls to protect the children you love.
World Against Toys Causing Harm (W.A.T.C.H) released 2020’s “10 Worst Toys” list. Every year we use the list to highlight dangerous toys and the types of problems to look for when buying any toy. And it’s not only holiday shopping, we need to be vigilant about toy safety year-round.
“10 Worst Toys” List
Taking first place on this year’s list is Calico Critters Nursery Friends. These flocked animals are appealing to oral-age children. W.A.T.C.H. revealed these sets come with small parts, such as a pacifier with the potential for choking injuries. Other toys topping this year’s list include: Toy Smith’s Missile Launcher, the Marvel Avengers Vibranium Power FX Claw & Gloria Owl.
The toys on this list represent the “usual suspects” of toy safety hazards that appear on the list every year: projectiles, small parts, rigid materials, loose hair, toxic substances and inadequate or misleading warnings on packaging. These are hazards to look out for in any toy you buy.
Scrutinize Toys Before You Buy
Being for sale doesn’t mean a toy is safe. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, there were 17 toy-related child deaths and 226,100 toy-related injuries in emergency rooms in 2018.
Toy Safety Hazards
Some toy hazards include:
- Toys with small parts. Avoid toys with small parts for children younger than three. They can cause choking. A toy or toy part that can fit through a toilet paper tube is too small.
- Toys that shoot. They may cause serious eye injuries or lead to choking.
- Toys that aren’t sturdy. They break easily.
- Toys with pointed tips or sharp edges. They could cut a child’s skin or put out an eye.
- Loud toys that could damage hearing.
- Scooters and other riding toys. Riding toys and skating toys go fast and falls can be deadly. A helmet and safety gear are a must.
- Toys with toxic surfaces or components. They may cause poisoning. Look for a “non-toxic” label.
- Magnets. Children younger than six should avoid building or play sets containing magnets. They can cause serious injuries or death when swallowed.
- Balloons. They are choking hazards. Kids younger than eight may choke or suffocate on uninflated or broken balloons.
- Toys with hair or fur. They can be ingested and aspirated by oral age children.
- Toys with cords that are long enough to strangle a child.
With the COVID-19 pandemic, more toys are expected to be bought online this year. Be aware of product descriptions that don’t include warnings or have incomplete information. Remember to check where the toy is made. Toys made in China and other parts of the world do not have the same safety standards as the U.S. Their paint may contain lead, cadmium, or other heavy metals.
By keeping toy safety in mind, you can ensure your family will be safe in Toyland.
We Can Help
Terrell • Hogan represents the injured as they seek justice. If your loved one was injured by a dangerous or defective toy, we can investigate what caused your child’s injury and work with you to hold the responsible parties accountable. Though these types of cases can be complex, many of our lawsuits have resulted in manufacturers of defective products being held accountable for the injuries they caused. Some lawsuits have also led to product recalls and important safety changes. Consider contacting me at (904) 722-2228 for a complimentary consultation.
The “10 Worst Toys” List
CALICO CRITTERS NURSERY FRIENDS
Sold at Walmart, Walmart.com, Amazon.com, Kohl’s, Kohls.com for $14.95
Not for children under 3 years.
The Calico Critters collection includes small parts, such as a pacifier, with the potential for choking injuries
HAZARD: POTENTIAL FOR CHOKING INJURIES!
Sold at HomeGoods for $9.99
HAZARD: POTENTIAL FOR EYE AND FACIAL INJURIES! POTENTIAL FOR CHOKING INJURIES!
Outdoor use only. Do not aim at people or animals.
The warnings and cautions make no mention of potential for eye or facial injuries. Moreover, the act of initiating launch occurs near a child’s face, as depicted on the packaging.
The Missile Launcher comes with small parts that with the potential for choking injuries.
MARVEL AVENGERS VIBRANIUM POWER FX CLAW
Sold at Kmart, Amazon.com, Walmart, Walmart.com for $14.99
HAZARD: POTENTIAL FOR EYE AND FACIAL INJURIES!
These rigid claws inspired by the famous Black Panther and are sold for ages 5+ with a warning to not hit or swing at people or animals.
Sold at Home Goods, Amazon.com, The Paper Source, papersource.com, Saks Fifth Avenue, saksfifthave.com for $16.99
HAZARD: POTENTIAL FOR INGESTION/ASPIRATION INJURIES
Not recommended for children under 12 months due to coarse fabric/fiber shredding.
The toy’s long, fiber-like hair may not be adequately rooted, and is prone to “shredding”. The hair, once separated, presents the potential for ingestion or aspiration injuries.
WWE JUMBO SUPERSTAR FISTS
Sold at Kmart, Amazon.com for $23.99
HAZARD: POTENTIAL FOR BLUNT FORCE AND IMPACT INJURIES!
Adult supervision suggested. Simulated gloves are not to be used as a protective device.
These “jumbo” size fists are sold to enable 3+ year-old children to emulate pro wrestlers. No warnings or cautions are provided regarding the potential for blunt force or impact injuries.
THE ORIGINAL BOOMERANG INTERACTIVE STUNT UFO
Sold at Target, Target.com, Walmart.com for $14.99
HAZARD: POTENTIAL FOR CUTTING AND PROPELLER-RELATED INJURIES!
Not for children under 8.
The boomerang UFO can cause damage to the user, spectators, and animals.
WARNING! Keep hands, hair, and loose clothing away from the propeller.
Children are encouraged to “PERFORM AMAZING STUNTS & TRICKS!” by “tossing” it into the air. Despite warnings about potential propeller “damage”, the manufacturer urges users to play “catch” by “pass[ing] the UFO back and forth to friends.
SCIENTIFIC EXPLORER SCI-FI SLIME
Sold at Amazon.com, Kohl’s, Kohls.com, Toyexpresskids.com, Magic Beans for $19.99
HAZARD: POTENTIAL FOR CHEMICAL-RELATED INJURIES! HARMFUL IF SWALLOWED.
Not for children under 10.
Not to be used by children except under adult supervision.
This set contains chemicals that may be harmful if misused. Read contents on individual container carefully.
BOOM CITY RACERS STARTER PACK
Sold at Target, Target.com, Amazon.com, Walmart.com for $14.89
HAZARD: POTENTIAL FOR EYE AND FACE INJURIES!
Not for children under 4.
WARNING: DO NOT PLAY SOUNDS CLOSE TO YOUR EAR! DO NOT AIM AT EYES OR FACE! CAUTION: DO NOT LAUNCH VEHICLE AT PEOPLE OR ANIMALS.
The “BOOM CITY” race cars are sold with a ripcord “launcher” so children as young as 4 years old can use the “stunt set” to “RIP, RACE, [and] EXPLODE!” these miniature vehicles.
MY SWEET LOVE LOTS TO LOVE BABIES MINIS
Sold at Walmart, Walmart.com for $6.97
HAZARD: POTENTIAL FOR INGESTION AND CHOKING INJURIES!
Not for children under 2.
This “mini” baby comes with a feeding set, sold for 2-year-olds as “[a]ccessories for doll use only”. The slender, rigid plastic spoon is approximately 2¾” long with the potential to be mouthed and occlude a child’s airway.
STAR WARS MANDALORIAN DARKSABER
Sold at Target, Target.com, Amazon.com, Walmart, Walmart.com, Bestbuy.com for $29.99
HAZARD: POTENTIAL FOR BLUNT FORCE AND EYE INJURIES!
Not for children under 4.
Do not swing, poke or jab at people or animals.
Young children are encouraged to “SWING FOR BATTLE….!” with this “ancient, black bladed lightsaber” made of rigid plastic, with the potential for facial and other impact injuries.