The consumer watchdog group World Against Toys Causing Harm, Inc. (“W.A.T.C.H.) has published its 2015 list of the “10 Worst Toys,” chosen for the safety hazards that they could potentially present to children.
W.A.T.C.H. publishes its list every year in time for the holidays. Parents are cautioned to avoid purchasing these items for children to avoid harm.
The list includes the following toys:
- “Bud’ Skipit’s Wheely Cute Pull Along (manufactured by Bunnies by the Bay)
- Foam Dart Gun (GD. Jienfeng Toys)
- Stats 38 Quick Folding Trampoline (Toys R Us, Inc.)
- Poo-dough (Skyrocket Toys LLC)
- Splat X Smack Shot (Imperial Toy LLC)
- Kick Flipper (Playsmart, Inc.)
- Leonardo’s Electronic Stealth Sword (Playmates International Company, Ltd.)
- Kid Connection Doctor Play Set (Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.)
- Pull Along Zebra (Early Learning Centre)
- Jurassic World Velociraptor Claws (Hasbro)
“Worst toys” pose a variety of safety hazards
The toys on the list above (as well as many others marketed this holiday season) pose a variety of safety hazards to children.
First, toys such as the pull along zebra and the doctor play set contain parts that could break off or detach and pose choking hazards, or include cords that could pose strangulation hazards. W.A.T.C.H. notes that the “[d]espite the industry’s standard requiring strings on playpen and crib toys to be less than 12 inches in length, manufacturers are permitted to market “pull toys” like the “Pull Along Zebra”, with a cord measuring approximately 21 inches. The toy is intended for babies as young as 12 months old.
Some toys could result in head or neck injuries, blunt force injuries, or eye injuries. In many cases, packaging warnings that refer to potential injuries stand in contrast to packaging graphics or photographs, which depict children operating toys in an unsafe manner, or without correct safety equipment (such as the trampoline). The “Kick Flipper” does not mention the necessity of safety gear (such as a helmet) at all.
Finally, realistic toy guns are problematic in that they can be mistaken for real guns and may result in fatal misunderstandings.
Lawsuits over hazardous or recalled toys
It is best to avoid allowing children to play with toys that could cause injury altogether. Toys that are recalled for potential safety issues should be returned to the store or manufacturer for a refund or exchange.
However, the recall of an unsafe toy does not address any harm that may have occurred prior to the recall. Parents may have cause to file a lawsuit over toys that are directly responsible for the harm or death of children. Three possible reasons are often cited for filing lawsuits: design defect; manufacturing defect; or inadequate warnings.
If your child has suffered harm as a direct result of a defective or dangerous toy, you may have a viable claim against the manufacturer. Damages such as medical expenses, pain and suffering, or wrongful death can pursued through litigation.