December 7, 2021

Volume XI, Number 341

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December 07, 2021

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December 06, 2021

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Buyer Beware: The Most Dangerous Toys of 2020

It’s that time of year when parents head to the stores (or more likely in 2020, go online) to find and purchase the toys their children want this holiday season. It’s also the time of year when safety groups release their annual “most dangerous toys” lists as a reminder to parents to research an item’s potential hazards before clicking the “buy now” button.

About 240,000 children are treated at hospital emergency rooms for toy-related injuries each year in the U.S. Toy hazards come in many forms, from those made with small fibers a young child might ingest to those that encourage aggressive play that could lead to impact injuries. Those hazards and more made it on the “10 Worst Toys” list for 2020 from advocacy group World Against Toys Causing Harm (W.A.T.C.H.).

W.A.T.C.H. refers to this list as “a hands-on tool for consumers” that “raises awareness of the different types of potential hazards to avoid while toy shopping.” The organization also blatantly states that the following toys “should not be in the hands of children” because they present unnecessary hazards for injury and even death.

Those toys include:

  • Calico Critters Nursery Friends: This toy is labeled for ages 3+ but has been found to appeal to younger, oral-aged children. Because of the set’s small parts, it presents a major choking hazard.

  • Missile Launcher: The slingshot-like launcher lacks warnings of potential eye and facial injuries for both children and anyone in the vicinity of the launcher.

  • Marvel Avengers Vibranium Power FX Claw: Labeled for children ages 5+, this toy was flagged for potential eye and facial injuries.

  • Gloria Owl: The long, fiber-like hairs on this plush product present the potential for ingestion or aspiration injuries for children. Even so, it is marketed to children 12 months and up.

  • WWE Jumbo Superstar Fists: Adult supervision is recommended on the official packaging for this toy, which the manufacturer has deemed suitable for children aged 3 and up. W.A.T.C.H. notes in its analysis that, “No warnings or cautions are provided regarding the potential for blunt force or impact injuries.”

  • Sci-Fi Slime: Even the official packaging for this product contains multiple warnings about harmful chemicals and potential injuries that include eye, skin, and respiratory irritation.

  • Boomerang Interactive Stunt UFO: This one made the list because, despite warnings to keep hands, hair, and clothing away from the propeller, children are encouraged to play catch-like games with the toy.

  • Boom City Racers: W.A.T.C.H. noted the potential for eye and face injuries for this toy, which comes with its own lengthy set of warnings but is marketed to children as young as 4.

  • My Sweet Love Lots of Love Babies Minis: This “mini” baby comes with small accessories a child could put in its mouth and choke on. The toy is labeled as appropriate for children 2 and up.

  • Star Wars Mandalorian Darksaber: The rigid plastic toy carries the potential for facial and impact injuries, particularly since it’s marketed for children in the 4+ age group.

It’s important to remember that while these 10 toys may be getting all the headlines this year, they are not the only potentially dangerous ones available for the 2020 holiday season.

Parents are encouraged to carefully research toys before purchasing them. In 2020, more people than ever are shopping online because of the COVID-19 pandemic, so it is vital to conduct proper research. The online world is teeming with counterfeit toys, not to mention an endless supply of false advertising claims and items for sale made from low-quality materials. To avoid such traps, only purchase from reputable retailers and brands.

© 2021 by Clifford Law Offices PC. All rights reserved.National Law Review, Volume X, Number 343
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About this Author

Clifford Law Offices prides itself on tackling complex cases and seeing them through to the end. Our commitment to these difficult cases has led to many notable verdicts and settlements — many of them record-setting — in a variety of practice areas.

We have been named in the National Law Journal's Top 50 "America's Elite Trial Lawyers," the only Chicago law firm to be awarded this honor. We have also received first-tier rankings in such practice areas as medical malpractice, product liability and class action work in U.S. News & World Report...

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