The holiday season is upon us again. It is a time for family get togethers, enjoying big meals together and, of course, holiday gift giving. Anyone with young children in their lives have no doubt already been inundated by holiday wish lists for all manner of toys.
The look on a young child's face when the open a present is priceless, but so is their safety. World Against Toys Causing Harm (W.A.T.C.H.), a non-profit focused on keeping children safe from potentially dangerous toys, has released its annual list of the season's "10 worst toys" from a child safety point of view.
What to watch out for
Few individuals realize that children's toys are often very unsafe. Whether it is a poor design choice or the intended use of a toy, thousands of children are hurt or worse with toys their parents assumed were safe. Product liabilities are a serious matter. If your child has suffered injury from these or any other toy, speak to a professional right away.
According to W.A.T.C.H., these are the products to be warry of this holiday season:
Chien a Promener Pull Along Dog- A classic toy, this wooden dog on wheels comes with an attached string so children may pull it along behind them. The string, however, is 19 inches long, making it a potential entanglement or strangulation hazard.
Cutting Fruit- This kit comes with a plastic kitchen knife and three pieces of magnetic plastic fruit that "cut" apart into sections. In addition to choking and possible puncture and blunt trauma wounds, encouraging young children to play with knives is most likely not a good idea.
Stomp Rocket Ultra Rocket- Children jump on an air pump to launch a rocket up to 200 feet into the air. Serious eye, face and other impact injuries are a major concern when anything is launched with this much force.
Nici Wonderland Doll: Miniclara the Ballerina- A plush ballerina doll with a detachable kitten companion, this toy may seem harmless, but the small plush kitten poses a serious choking risk for the 2+ age recommended audience.
Zoo Jamz Xylophone- Many people grew up with musical toys, and this brightly colored xylophone on the back of a caterpillar may bring up feelings of nostalgia. The completely detached drumstick can pose a serious threat to the 1 ½ to 4-year-olds it is designed for.
Cabbage Patch Kids Dance Time Doll- Cabbage Patch Dolls will probably never leave the public consciousness. Be aware that the latest iteration of the dolls comes with a removable headband that could cause circulation or choking injuries.
Power Rangers Super Ninja Steel Superstar Blade- This spring-loaded plastic sword extends its blade an extra few inches when a button on the handle is pressed, inviting the possibility of face or eye impact injuries.
Marvel Black Panther Slash Claw- Based on the Marvel character Black Panther, this glove comes with rigid plastic claws at the ends of each finger. Warnings on the box say not to swing the claws at people, but also tell ages 5+ that they will be able to "slash" like Black Panther.
Nerf Vortex VTX Praxis Blaster - Nerf guns have existed for years, and this season's iteration is a brightly colored plastic gun which shoots disks rather than the recognizable foam darts. The launch force of the disks may cause eye and facial injuries.
Nickelodeon Nella Princess Knight Pillow Pets SleeptimeLites- This combination pillow/stuffed animal, intended for infants, projects colorful images. It also comes with several small, detachable pieces can cause choking, and a manufacturer warning specifically warns of "battery acid leakage".
Be smart when you do your holiday shopping this year. Make sure to read manufacturer warnings carefully and take an extra moment to consider what your child may do with a particular toy. No child should ever be hurt by their playthings - help make sure that they are not.