We all have fond memories of the toys we played with as children but unless you grew up in the era of tin soldiers, marbles and jacks, you probably weren’t aware of the rigorous product testing and safety standards that products marketed for children are subjected to. Today’s parents, after all, have enough on their plate without worrying whether the toys they entrust to their children meet basic safety requirements. While there are a great deal of considerations that go into safety requirements for children’s toys
For the purposes of cost, many manufacturers base their operations in Asia. Iincredibly, 75% of children’s toys all over the world are made in China, as the manufacturing leviathan is unmatched anywhere in the world in terms of capability of producing enormous volumes. Although safety standards are dictated by the country of consumption (over here), the differences in regional safety standards can sometimes lead to unsafe toys entering the market. Consider the cautionary tail of Mattel who in 2007 had to recall 83 Chinese made products because they contain toxic lead paint.
Even toys that conform to safety standards can sometimes slip through the net and reveal themselves to be potentially unsafe by virtue of their function or parts, even when fully functional. If, however, your child is endangered by a defective product, you should enlist the aid of a defective product lawyer immediately. Even if a product is not defective, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s safe but fortunately there is an international safeguard against potentially dangerous children’s toys. W.A.T.C.H. (World Against Toys Causing Harm), Inc.is an international watchdog dedicated to ensuring the safety of children’s toys wherever they are manufactured and distributed to. Here are some of the most dangerous offenders on their lists…
Banzai Bump N’ Bounce Body Bumpers
These inflatable body suits for kids are intended for fun garden play in the summer months. Children are encouraged to bump and bash into each other (publicity material even shows a little boy punching his sister while wearing the bumpers). Obviously this is potentially hazardous in terms of potential impact injuries from bumping into one another or from falling after being bumped.
Flying Heroes Superman Launcher
Between last year’s (not at all child friendly) Batman V Superman and this year’s Justice League in theatres many children are keen to play with toys featuring the man of steel. This figure launcher, however, can potentially cause serious eye and facial injury risk due to the rigid nature of the Superman figure and the speed at which it can be released. While the packaging does warn to fire away from the face the product is marketed at aged 4 and up so there’s no guarantee that children in the age appropriate bracket will heed the warning.
Peppa Pig’s Muddy Puddles Family
These cute little mini figures may look innocuous enough but they may present a serious choking hazard due to their small parts.
Nerf Rival Apollo XV-700 Blaster:
Nerf has been a staple of outdoor play for kids for decades now, but the projectile toys can be dangerous (even without the growing subculture of people obsessed with making them more powerful and harmful). This blaster can cause severe eye injuries and even though the kids depicted in packaging and advertising materials are wearing protective eye masks they are not included with the toy.
The Good Dinosaur Galloping Butch
Disney / Pixar’s The Good Dinosaur was an underrated and highly enjoyable animated film, that’s full of charm and heart. But there’s nothing charming about the risks presented by this toy. The rigid, pointy tail is likely to be held near a child’s face when being activated presenting puncture and eye injury risk.
These adorable plushes are understandably appealing to little girls and boys but the abnormally long 31-inch pull cord presents a serious strangulation risk that is worrying given the infant target market.
Lots of children (especially little boys) love slimy, gungy, messy toys and this wrist mounted slime catapult may be appealing to pre-teen boys. The risk of severe eye injury, however is extremely worrying especially given the recklessness of your average 10 year old.
Fans of the ubiquitous video games and Duncan Jones’ 2016 film may gravitate towards this rigid plastic hammer but the rigidity of the plastic combines with the vigor with which its target audience is likely to use it make it an extremely hazardous toy.
Baby Magic Feed and Play Baby
While there’s nothing dangerous about this ‘peek-a-boo’ baby itself, the Interactive spoon is less than 3 inches long. Needless to say this presents an ingestion and choking risk for very young children.