According to the “World Against Toys Causing Harm” (W.A.T.C.H.), a child is treated in a U.S. emergency room every three minutes for a toy-related injury. Amazing! Just because toys are on the market doesn’t mean they are safe! One thing parents, caregivers, family members and gift-givers should think about is that toys advertised on-line could be less safe than toys purchased in a brick-and-mortar store, as the purchaser doesn’t have the opportunity to touch and see the toy before purchasing it for a child.
Also according to W.A.T.C.H., “there were 28 toy recalls in fiscal year 2017. In the recent 22-month period between January 2017 and October 2018, an estimated 3.5 million units of toys were recalled in the U.S. and Canada.” There are toys which have been recalled and then there are un-safe toys which have not been recalled… some unsafe toys show up at tag sales, yard sales and flea markets. Many are imported toys which slip by the scrutiny of the CPSC until something happens to a child interacting with that unsafe toy!
Parents need to keep a weather eye-out for kids and nix toys that contain sharp edges or sharp protruding parts, and/or parts which if loosened on which a child could choke. Two toys WATCH identified as dangerous are the “Power Rangers Super Ninja Steel Superstar Blade” and “Marvel Black Panther Slash Claw”. Blade? Slash Claw? Just their names give me the shivers! These are toys which have no business being in the hands of young children.
Even though the holidays are over, these are still good tips when purchasing toys for young children, from the Consumer Product Safety Commission:
- Check the label: Choose age appropriate toys by reading the age label on the toy. For children younger than 3, avoid toys with small parts, which can cause choking. In particular, avoid deflated or broken balloons, small parts or small balls.
- Get safety gear: With scooters and other riding toys, helmets and safety gear should be worn properly at all times and they should be sized to fit. Avoid riding a scooter on a street or roadway with other motor vehicles.
Be careful with magnets: High powered magnet sets are dangerous and should be kept away from children under 14. Building and play sets with small magnets should also be kept away from small children.
1. 2018 “Ten Worst Toys List”, press release “W.A.T.C.H. REVEALS ITS 2018 NOMINEES FOR THE “10 WORST TOYS” THIS HOLIDAY SEASON”, www. Toysafety.org, December 2018.
4. Consumer Product Safety Commission website, www.cpsc.gov,https://onsafety.cpsc.gov/blog/2017/11/16/top-toy-lists-start-with-safety/