by Tim O’Hare
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Christmas is just around the corner. As you finish up your holiday shopping, there may be some items for your kids you want to leave off your list this year.
The toy industry generates approximately $22 billion in sales each year in the United States, yet toy safety is not always a priority. Every three minutes, a child is treated in an emergency room for a toy-related injury. Between 2010 and 2014, 61 children died from toy related injuries.
Each year, the advocacy group World Against Toys Causing Harm (W.A.T.C.H.) issues a list of the most dangerous toys. Here are the toys that made the 2016 W.A.T.C.H. list.
Peppa Pig’s Muddy Puddles Family — Marketed for children over three with a choking hazard warning appearing on the packaging, some of the toys in this product are the same toys sold for oral children as young as two, with no warnings about toy-related hazards.
Kids Time Baby Children’s Elephant Pillow — This large plush elephant is recommended for children over three, yet on the company’s website and advertising, an adorable sleeping baby is depicted alone with the elephant. This toy poses a potential suffocation hazard. The Consumer Product Safety Commission has warned that a pillow can block a baby’s mouth, leading to infant suffocation.
Slimeball Slinger — Although the packaging contains warnings against shooting at another person or animal, as well as other cautions and instructions, this toy, which launches slimeballs over 30 feet has the potential to cause serious eye injuries.
Banxai Bump N’ Bounce Body Bumpers — Warnings on the package recommend the product not be used without protective equipment for head, elbows, knees, hands, etc., yet photos on the packaging depict children playing with these body bumpers without any protective gear. This toy poses a risk for potential impact injuries.
Nerf Rival Apollo XV-700 Blaster — Recommended for children over 14, the ammunition provided with this toy can shoot with enough force to potentially cause serious eye injuries. Images on the box depict children wearing protective face masks, however the masks are not included and must be purchased separately.
The Good Dinosaur Galloping Butch — Recommended for children over three, this toy contains small parts that pose a choking hazard to small children. Requiring the push of a button on the toy’s rigid, pointed tail, which may be held close to a child’s torso or face, there is also a potential for puncture wound injuries.
Peppy Pups — With a pull cord string measuring approximately 31 inches in length, this toy poses a potential for strangulation injuries and packaging contains no warnings about the potential hazards of this toy.
Flying Heroes Superman Launcher — Though packaging does contain a warning to “never aim at eyes or face,” this flying, winged superhero figurine sold with a launcher has the potential for eye and facial injuries.
Baby Magic Feed and Play Baby — Recommended for children two and older, this doll comes with a baby bottle, high chair, blanket, food dish and “interactive spoon” for pretend play. The slender, rigid plastic spoon is approximately 2 ¾ inches long, with the potential to be put in the mouth and occlude a child’s airway.
Warcraft Doomhammer — Packaging warns that this toy is not suitable for children under 36 months as it contains small parts that may be a choking hazard. The toy, however, also poses a risk for blunt impact injuries associated with the foreseeable use of the heavy, rigid plastic battle hammer.
Please note that none of the toys listed above have been recalled at this time. This list is simply a warning to parents about potentially dangerous toys.
When shopping for your children this holiday season, the U.S. Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) recommends W.A.T.C.H.ing out for toys with these potential hazards:
Choking — The most common cause of toy-related deaths is choking. Do not buy toys with small parts for children under three. If a toy or toy part can pass through a toilet paper tube, it is too small for a child under three. Small balls and balloons also pose significant hazard to small children. Balls for children under six years of age must be 1.75 inches in diameter. Latex balls and balloons should never be given to children under 8 years old.
Magnets — Several toys, including building toys, darts and toy jewelry use small, powerful magnets. If swallowed, these magnets can attract each other in the body, causing life-threatening complications. If a child swallows a magnet, seek immediate medical attention.
Strangulation — Toys and clothes with cords or drawstrings are a strangulation hazard for children. Infant crib mobiles should be removed from the crib before the baby is 5 months old or can push him/herself up. Knobs or beads at the end of cords longer than one foot should be removed. Drawstrings on clothing can get caught in objects, such as playground equipment, potentially strangling a child.
Toxic chemicals — Toys containing lead and other toxic chemicals should be avoided. Toys made of PVC plastic may contain toxic phthalates, which pose developmental hazards to children. Lead may also be found in painted toys, vinyl toys and even costume jewelry. A home lead tester, found at a hardware store, can be used to test toys for lead. Avoid products containing xylene, toluene or dibutyl phthalate.
If you think a toy or product is hazardous, report it to the Consumer Product Safety Commission at www.saferproducts.gov.
Parents can check toy recalls at www.recalls.gov.
If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of a dangerous product, contact the experienced legal team at The Law Offices of Tim O’Hare. We will help you receive all due compensation for your injury or loss.
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