Giving a gift to a child is meant to end in a smile, not a trip to the hospital. According to the Consumer Products Safety Commission, in 2009 there were approximately 250,000 toy-related trips to the emergency room. The non-profit World Against Toys Causing Harm (WATCH) is looking to reduce that number. They have compiled their annual list of the 10 most dangerous toys. While none are as dangerous as the Radioactive Science Kit sold in the 1950’s, the toys on WATCH’s list pose risks for choking, electrocution, puncture wounds and a host of other injuries. We urge you to avoid purchasing these toys or allowing your children to play with them.
1. Twist ‘n Sort
The toy has already been recalled once because its small pegs can detach, posing a choking hazard to young children. Even after the recall, this problem has not been fixed.
2. Power Rangers Samurai Mega Blade
This is not a toy, it is a 2 foot long sword. The first few warnings on the package should be enough to scare off any concerned parent: “Do not: (1) aim toy at anyone, (2) hit anyone with toy, (3) poke anyone with toy, (4) swing toy at anyone.” Used correctly, this toy is dangerous. Used safely, this toy is useless.
3. Fold & Go Trampoline
Trampolines are always dangerous, and this toy is no exception. The warnings on the package encourage parents to limit play on this toy to a “controlled bounce.” Children are extremely unlikely to be capable of following the recommended use.
4. Pulling Animal Duck
This toy’s packaging indicates that is appropriate for 1 year olds but contains a 33″ cord. The cord presents a strangulation risk, and the recommend maximum cord length to prevent strangulation is 12″.
5. School Bus
This toy’s removable rubber tires present a choking hazard for children. Compounding the problem, the “choking hazard” warning label is removable.
6. Z-Curve Bow
The laundry list of warnings on the package should notice enough to stay away from this toy. This is another weapon packaged as a toy. The bow is powerful enough to launch its arrows up to 125 feet. An arrow launched with enough force to fly 125 feet can pose risks to people in its immediate vicinity.
7. Super “Low Rise” Stilts
This is a toy which should have warnings written all over it, but, remarkably, has none. An already unstable child, elevated even a few additional inches off the ground, has a greater potential to hurt himself or herself when falling over from atop this dangerous toy.
8. Sword Fighting Jack Sparrow
This is yet another toy that should have warning labels, but does not. The doll’s sword is a rigid, plastic sword and a child can activate a chopping motion with the push of a lever. An unaware child could suffer an eye or other impact injury.
9. The Incredible Shinky Dinks Maker
The litany of warnings on this toy should scare away most parents. This is an electrical appliance masquerading as a toy. Most importantly, this toy poses an electric shock hazard, which will not leave your child smiling like the kids on the box.
10. “Gigan” Godzilla Figure
Pretty much everything about this toy screams “puncture wound.” The toy many sharp, rigid plastic pieces and “dagger-like” attachments. There are hundreds of other, safer, toys on the market.
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