World Against Toys Causing Harm (W.A.T.C.H.), a non-profit that advocates for toy safety, has produced a list of the year’s worst toys since 1991. This year’s offenders include a Nerf blaster, a Cabbage Patch doll, and a Black Panther smash glove.
The 10 worst toys of 2018, according to W.A.T.C.H.
2018’s most dangerous toys include everything from a rocket launcher to a nightlight for babies. All are “poorly designed” and feature “inconsistent and inadequate warnings, cautions and age recommendations,” according to W.A.T.C.H.
These are the toys W.A.T.C.H. says parents should avoid.
Nickelodeon Nella Princess Knight Pillow Pets Sleeptime Lites: This infant nightlight isn’t safe to use in a crib. Small parts also pose an ingestion hazard, and the battery could leak, according to W.A.T.C.H.
Nerf Vortex VTX Praxis Blaster: This Nerf blaster has the potential to cause eye and facial injuries.
Marvel Black Panther Slash Claw: Marketed to kids as young as 5, this slash claw could cause injuries to the face and eye, says W.A.T.C.H.
Power Rangers Super Ninja Steel Superstar Blade: The spring-loaded plastic blade could cause facial or blunt force injuries.
Cabbage Patch Kids Dance Time Doll: Small kids could ingest and choke on the removable headband on this toy (designed for ages 2+), according to W.A.T.C.H.
Zoo Jamz Xylophone: W.A.T.C.H. says this musical instrument, aimed at kids as young as 1½, includes a drumstick that a child could choke on.
NICI Wonderland Doll: Miniclara the Ballerina: As with several toys on this list, this plush doll poses a choking hazard. Specifically, the doll’s little kitten accessory can detach and kids could try to swallow it.
Stomp Rocket Ultra Rocket: Kids can stomp on this rocket, launching it up to 200 feet. Though the packaging warns of a risk of “serious eye or face injuries,” W.A.T.C.H. says that’s not sufficient.
Cutting Fruit: Kids as young as 2 can “slice” magnetic fruit with this toy, but the plastic knife could cause puncture and blunt force injuries.
Chien a Promener Pull Along Dog: This cute toy is for kids between 12 and 36 months. But the pup’s cord is 19 inches long, which W.A.T.C.H. says poses a strangulation risk for little ones.
You can see pictures of all the toys on the W.A.T.C.H. website.
Are these toys really dangerous?
The toy industry objects to W.A.T.C.H.’s list of dangerous toys. It says toys sold in the U.S. are safe and that the list only creates uncertainty and fear among parents.
Reports such as W.A.T.C.H.’s “are consistently riddled with inaccuracies and unnecessarily frighten families rather than assuring them that toys are among the safest consumer products found in the home,” the Toy Association argues.
“U.S. toy safety standards are among the toughest in the world,” acting Consumer Products Safety Commission chairman Ann Marie Buerkle said in a statement.
Still, both the CSPC and the Toy Association urge parents to be vigilant when selecting toys for their kids. That includes paying attention to age guidelines and heeding all safety warnings.
“Toys are now safer than they’ve ever been before – fewer are being recalled, and dangerous products imported from other nations are being stopped at the border. That said, parents still have a job to do to ensure their child is safe,” said Anthony Green of Safe Kids Worldwide.
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