Knowing that more children are playing at home during the pandemic, toy safety is more important than ever. One child is treated in a U.S. emergency room every three minutes for a toy-related injury.
World Against Toys Causing Harm, Inc., WATCH, a nonprofit organization working to educate the public about child safety, has a 48-year holiday tradition: its list of the “10 Worst Toys.”
Additionally, since last year’s WATCH list, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has announced recalls of ten toys that could lead to serious injury or death.
Online Toy Safety Shopping Risks
Also, with shoppers looking to limit store visits and avoid holiday crowds, more people are buying products online. In October, online toy sales jumped 85% from the same time last year.
But shopping online removes the opportunity to physically examine the toy. Unsafe or recalled toys may resurface on second-hand online sites such as eBay. In addition, online product descriptions may omit warnings or provide incomplete and misleading information.
For these reasons, learn more about product recalls at safekids.org/product-recalls. Safe Kids compiles product recalls specific to children and sends twice-monthly e-mail alerts for recent recalls. Information is also available at the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).
However, even toys that meet regulations may not be appropriate for all children’s intellect and physical ability within a toy’s designated age range. Children should be supervised when playing with any toys to make sure toys are being used as intended.
Ten Toys to Avoid in 2020
The following toys are on this year’s WATCH list:
- My Sweet Love Lots to Love Babies Minis, ages 2+. Hazard: Potential for ingestion and choking
- Calico Critters Nursery Friends, ages 3+. Hazard: Potential for choking
- WWE Jumbo Superstar Fists, ages 3+. Hazard: Potential for blunt force and impact injuries
- Star Wars Mandalorian Dark saber, ages 4+. Hazard: Potential for blunt force and eye injuries
- Missile Launcher, ages 5+. Hazard: Potential for eye and facial injuries
- Marvel Avengers Vibranium Power FX Claw, ages 5+. Hazard: Potential for eye and facial injuries
- Gloria Owl, 12 months+. Hazard: Potential for ingestion and aspiration
- Scientific Explorer Sci-Fi Slime, ages 10+. Hazard: Potential for chemical-related injuries
- The Original Boomerang Interactive Stunt UFO, ages 8+ Hazard: Potential for cutting and propeller-related injuries
- Boom City Racers Starter Pack, ages 4+ Hazard: Potential for eye and face injuries
Tips for Toy Safety
WATCH has shared these tips for toy safety. When evaluating toys, look out for:
- Hazards, such as small parts that can be choking hazards for babies
- Battery operated toys for children under 8 years old, since batteries may leak, overheat or explode
- Toys that encourage aggressive play or violence
- Instructions or warnings that are unrealistic to follow
- Defects, poor design and hidden hazards
- Toys with fur or hair that may come off and be ingested
- Projectile toys that can harm faces or eyes
- Removable attachments at the end of laces and strings that could strangle small children
- Pointed tips or sharp edges that can pierce skin
- Toys to be strung across cribs or playpens that can result in strangulation deaths and injuries
- Electrical toys that do not have step-down transformers to reduce the risk of shock or electrocution
- Toxic surfaces or components that can be ingested or cause skin irritations.
Get more toy safety tips from WATCH at ToySafety.org, as well as at healthychildren.org and safekids.org.
What To Do If a Toy Injures Your Child
Toys should be a joyful part of the holidays. Should your child be injured by defective toys, our personal injury attorneys can assist in recovering compensation for medical bills, treatments, childcare and other costs.