Safety Group “World Against Toys Causing Harm” (WATCH) Announces Top-10-Dangerous Toy List for 2017

In just two days America will be reveling in “Black Monday” (like Black Friday but for online purchases).  In the old days of Christmases past, when parents and others actually went to something called a “store” to choose toys for their tots, a parent could often spot for herself a lurking danger.  For example, he or she could see if small parts might be removable and thus pose a choking hazard.  But now, with more and more people doing “Cyber shopping” , some of a toy’s more obvious safety flaws are less obvious.

Never fear!  Safe shopping can be done online, with a little help from our friend “WATCH“.  For more than 40 years this not-for-profit group (acronym for “World Against Toys Causing Harm”) has published an annual “top-WATCH-OUT list” of potentially dangerous toys.

Here’s an example (from this year’s list):  a toy called “Pull-Along Pony” marketed for children over one-year old but has a pull chord  19 inches long (strangulation hazard).  More examples:  A fidget spinner with small, removable parts (choking hazard).  A Spider-Man drone with rotating blades just the right size to enter an eye socket.

Here’s this year’s complete top-ten WATCH-OUT list:

1. Hallmark “Itty Bittys” Baby Stacking Toy (Its fabric hats and bows can detach, posing a choking hazard)

2. Pull Along Pony (19-inch-long-pull chord poses a strangulation hazard for small children)

3. Wonder Woman Battle-Action Sword (hard plastic sword – ouch)

4. Hand Fitgetz Spinners (removable small parts)

5. Spider-Man Spider-Drone Official Movie Edition (spinning blades can injure eye).

6. Nerf Zombie Strike Deadbolt Crossbow (crossbow can injure eye)

7. Slackers Slackline Classic Series Kit (outdoor slack rope poses strangulation hazard for small children).

8. Oval Xylophone (includes 9-and-a-half-inch-long stick which could be placed in the child’s mouth and obstruct the child’s airway.

9. Jetts Heel Wheels (mini-roller skate-like devices to be attached to back of shoes, with sparklers on the back that can burn or catch fire).

10. Brianna Babydoll (removable clothes and ponytail holders are choking hazard).

Please note that some of these toys are safe as long as there are no very young children around.  Use your common sense.  Be safe.  And Merry Christmas!

Mike Bersani

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