For over four decades, W.A.T.C.H. or World Against Toys Causing Harm, Inc. has discussed the issue of dangerous toys in the hope of bringing about change and reducing injuries to children. Although parents have a right to expect that toys in the market are safe for children to play with, unsafe toys remain an ongoing problem. In fact, one child in the U.S. is treated for toy-related injuries every three minutes. Additionally, from 1990 to 2011, there was a 40% increase in toy-related injuries. That is why this watch group has compiled a “10 Worst Toys” list every year for the past 43 years. Here is the list they came up with for 2015:
- Bunnies By The Bay is a company that produced a soft, plush puppy pull toy that is marketed for infants 6 months or older and is sold on Amazon.com, Ebay and the Bunnies By The Bay website. Marketed as a “friend” who is “ready to roll”, the furry pet rests on two sets of red wooden wheels with blue hub caps. On June 16, 2015, certain lots of these toys were recalled because the hub caps “can break or come off at the wheel, posing a choking hazard for young children.” Even after the issuance of the recall, a similar toy that can be purchased online exhibited the same potential for the “choking hazard” as warned by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. They are sold for about $30 and while they can still be acquired, the commission encouraged consumers to take the toys away from young children immediately and to return them to where it was purchased for a full refund.
- Jiefing Toys manufactured a realistic foam dart gun for ages 3 and up that can be bought on Amazon.com or Ebay and carries the warnings; do not aim at eyes or face. To avoid injury, do not modify darts as well as “other warnings”. According to W.A.T.C.H., in today’s world, there is no excuse for outfitting children with realistic toy weapons designed to produce potentially dangerous and unnecessary thrills. Existing regulations addressing the hazards associated with such “toys” are inadequate. Detailed replica have resulted in a number of deaths through the years and should never be sold as toys. They sell for $13.99.
- Toys R Us, Inc. is selling trampolines marketed for children 6+ and are sold for $39.99-$49.99. The company who makes the trampoline, Stats, warns to use caution while performing as “any physical activity presents a risk of injury. Adult supervision is required”. The potential injuries range from head, neck and other bodily injuries to paralysis or even death. It is sold in the toy aisle for young children and remarkably, the paper inserts that caution the possible injuries presented above state that these injuries can occur even when landing in the middle of the bed. Furthermore, despite an instruction that the product must only be used when an adult is present, the photo on the packaging shows a kid jumping alone. Trampolines should not be sold as a playtime activity for young children.
- Skyrocket Toys LLC produced a “children’s toy” called Poo-Dough which encourages children 3+ to make their own poo. It can be found at Kmart, Amazon.com, Walmart and Toys R Us. It carries an allergen warning attributed to ingesting wheat. This dough is sold for $4.99. While it’s odd for the play value of the toy is for children to make their own bowel movements look like real poo, the brown dough contains an allergy notice. Allergic reactions to wheat include symptoms ranging from hives, headaches and difficulty breathing, to life-threatening anaphylaxis especially in young children.
- Imperial Toy LLC has produced a toy called Smack Shot which is similar to a slingshot, and is sold with ammunition capable of firing “up to 100ft!” The many warnings and cautions include; do not aim or shoot at people or animals; launchers should never be aimed at eyes, face, people, or animals; anyone within close distance should be alerted prior to firing. It is suggested to be bought for children ages 8+ and is sold at Walmart, Kmart and Amazon.com for $10.00. The amount of warnings say enough about the safety of the product.
- Playsmart Inc. has a product called the Kick Flipper that is made to help children learn tricks for skateboarding. It is sold for $19.99 on Amazon.com and Learning Express and is recommended for children 5+. The company warns to not use the Kick Flip on stairs, hills, or inclines, among other cautions. The board is a plastic piece that is marketed as “a skateboard without wheels!” Young users are encouraged to learn tricks for future skateboarding activities. However, the manufacturer makes no mention of safety gear, and the children pictured on the packaging are not wearing helmets or other protection.
- Playmates International Company Ltd. produced a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles toy for children ages 4+. It is sold for $24.99 at Toys R Us, Amazon.com and Ebay. The company warns that it is not suitable for children under 3 years due to the product containing small parts. Young children are encouraged to engage in a “Ninja Battle” with this rigid, plastic sword associated with the Ninja Turtle Leonardo. The blade has the potential to cause facial or other impact injuries.
- Walmart Stores, Inc. has a Doctor Play Set with 8 pieces that is marketed to children ages 2+. There are no warnings and the toy is sold for $4.97 at Walmart, Amazon.com or Ebay. However, the product has the potential for ingestion and choking injuries. The multicolored play set sold for oral-age children, includes medical devices that help the kids play doctor. Among the pieces involved, there is a thin plastic “tongue depressor” measuring approximately 4 ¾ inches in length. Small children are effectively invited to introduce this implement into their mouths. This presents the potential to block the airway.
- Early Learning Centre has made an animal “pull along” toy with a cord measuring approximately 21 inches. Despite the industry’s standard requiring strings on playpen and crib toys to be less than 12 inches in length, manufacturers are permitted to lengthen pull toys’ strings for mobility. However, this creates a serious potential for strangulation and entanglement injuries as the toy is intended for babies as young as 12 months old. It is sold for $20.99 at retail stores including Amazon.com, Kmart, Brookstone and Village Toy Shop. It does include a warning stating, “Remember babies and young children have no idea what is dangerous or potentially harmful, so supervision is important.” Still, the danger it there so be aware.
- Hasbro produced a toy that is supposed to embody the claws from a Velociraptor that has been popularized by the major motion picture Jurassic World. These oversized claws can be worn by children ages 4+ and are sold at Target, Amazon.com, Toys R Us, Walmart and Kohl’s for $19.99. The company has warned on the packaging that “small parts will be generated. Not for children under 3 years.” However, there are no warnings or cautions about the potential for eye and facial injuries as these claws are sold to enable 4-year-olds to “claw like a raptor!”
While these toys are marketed for children to have a good time playing with friends, family or on their own, it’s important to know that they can also cause injuries that can last a lifetime.
Whether shopping in a retailer’s store or on their website, awareness of toy dangers can prevent injuries. In the last twelve months, there have been at least sixteen (16) toy recalls representing over three million (3,000,000) units of toys with recognized safety defects in the United States and Canada proving the inadequacy of existing standards. In 2013 alone, there were over 250,000 toy-related injuries and 50 children died in toy-related incidents between 2010 and 2013. These injuries are highly preventable if these toys are regulated more strategically .
Dolman Law Group
Keep in mind that with all product liability cases such as defective toys, it is important to secure the evidence as promptly as possible. Do not try to fix the defective product. Do not destroy the defective product or return it to the manufacturer. The dangerous product should be kept in the same condition it was in at the time it harmed your innocent child.
Filing and pursuing a products liability claims can be a complicated process, and being compensated for a serious injury is important and sometimes crucial for getting by in difficult times. Such an obstacle requires an attorney who is experienced, dedicated and well versed in the nuances of personal injury law. Dolman Law Group regularly handles claims involving injured individuals. Helping them recover is what we pride ourselves in. At our firm we analyze each case to determine all possible sources of financial compensation pertaining to injuries caused by defects: including the manufacturer, the parts vendor, or even the retailer and distributor.
We always offer a free consultation and we only earn a free if we make a recovery on your behalf. If you believe you have been injured from a defective product or if your child has, please contact the Clearwater Personal Injury Team at (727) 451-6900. Dolman Law Group represents injured parties throughout the state of Florida.
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