For most people, the holidays mean a fine balance between joyful memories with a sprinkle of stressful shopping trips and relatives who just can't take a hint. But according to a "10 Worst Toys" report released today by World Against Toys Causing Harm (W.A.T.C.H.), it can also mean potential danger when it comes to some toys. But what do the most dangerous toys of the year tell us about toy-related injuries as a whole?
According to a 2014 study released by the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, once every three minutes a child in the United States is treated in the emergency room for a toy-related injury. W.A.T.C.H. suggests that the report aims to reduce such hazards by addressing products available online and in retail stores so parents can have better informed shopping trips.
However, in a statement released today, The Toy Association stated: "Each year, we find these lists by W.A.T.C.H. to be needlessly frightening to parents; each year these allegations do not stand up to scrutiny when reviewed by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Safety issues are not uncovered by the group’s 'gotcha' reporting. But W.A.T.C.H. keeps at it for the media attention it brings to their organization at this time of year."
Want to know which toys made the list so that you can make your own decision? You'll find all 10 and their potential hazards listed below.
Manufactured by Tolo Toys Limited, the Pull Along Pony is distributed at Magic Beans, Amazon.com and Bonanza.com. W.A.T.C.H. stated that the 19-inch cord on the toy goes against industry standards "requiring strings on playpen and cribtoys to be less than 12 inches in length." The association noted that the toy poses the potential for strangulation and entanglement.
At the time of publication, Tolo Toys had not responded to questions for comment.
Manufactured by Mattel, the Wonder Woman sword can be found at several big retailers. W.A.T.C.H. noted that "the rigid plastic sword blade has the potential to cause facial or other impact injuries."
When reached for comment, a Mattel spokesperson stated: "Safety is our top priority, and every Mattel toy is safe when used as intended. As with all toys, we encourage parents to carefully supervise and monitor kids as they engage in play, and to model safe and responsible behavior."
Manufactured by Kipp Brothers, the popular Hand Fidgetz Spinners made the list as a result of a small part that may pose a potential choking hazard.
At the time of publication, Kipp Brothers had not responded to questions for comment.
Manufactured by Marvel and Skyrocket Toys, the Spider-Man Spider-Drone Official Movie Edition has a package insert that states the toy's rotating blades should be kept "away from fingers, hair, eyes, and other body parts," according to W.A.T.C.H. The toy is distributed by several big retailers.
At the time of publication, Marvel and Skyrocket Toys had not responded to questions for comment.
Manufactured by Brand 44, the package insert for the Slackers Slackline Classic Series Kit is said to provide "a tightrope-like device intended to be anchored between two trees." The manufacturer warns of the potential for “severe injury”, including “a strangulation hazard, especially with children," according to W.A.T.C.H.
At the time of publication, Brand 44 had not responded to questions for comment.
Manufactured by PlanToys, the multi-colored musical instrument includes "no warnings regarding the slender, rigid drumstick handle, which has the potential to be mouthed and occlude a child’s airway," according to W.A.T.C.H.
When reached for comment, PlanToys stated: "PlanToys® takes pride in meeting and exceeding all safety standards set forth by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) as well as EN71 (Europe). PlanToys® is the only toy company that has a safety file on the website with all ASTM and EN71 test reports available to everyone." The company also pointed to the statement from The Toy Association.
Manufactured by Razor USA LLC, the Jetts Heels Wheels were called out by W.A.T.C.H. for the potential of "blunt impact and fire-related burn injuries." The toy is intended to be strapped to kids' shoes in order to transform it into a rear-wheel roller skate.
At the time of publication, Razor USA LLC had not responded to questions for comment.
W.A.T.C.H. noted that the removable clothing and pink ponytail holders included with the Melissa and Doug Brianna Baby Doll present a "potential for ingesting and choking."
At the time of publication, Melissa and Doug had not responded to questions for comment.
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