Check the "Top 10 Worst Toys" of 2017 before holiday shopping
TRI-CITIES, Wash. – World Against Toys Causing Harm, Inc. (W.A.T.C.H.) revealed its list for the “10 worst toys of 2017,” warning parents against the potentially hazardous toys that they say should not be in the hands of children.
This year’s toy report addressed the types of toy hazards available online, as well as in retail stores, so parents know what traps to avoid when buying toys, especially during the upcoming holiday season.
Parents have a right to expect that toys on the market are safe to give to their children, but leaders at W.A.T.C.H see the same hazards reappearing year after year.
The most common hazard is small parts on toys for young children, which are not always obvious. For instance, a doll with removable hair ties.
"Sometimes they can originally be attached to the toy, but can detach during play and that's a hazard that a lot of parents don't know to look for," said Joan Siff, president of W.A.T.C.H. "Sadly, children have choked and died on small parts.”
Another common hazard they see is long strings on toys.
"In our opinion, young kids and strings do not mix," Siff said.
Toys like “Pull along Pony,” Siff said pose as a potential threat for strangulation and entanglement injuries.
When W.A.T.C.H. recently revealed the 10 worst toys to buy this holiday season, they cited several potential dangers to children.
"Some can lead to lacerations, some can lead to serious impact injuries, some can lead to severe injuries, and some can potentially lead to death,” Siff said.
Popular toys W.A.T.C.H said parents should avoid include: The Hallmark "Itty Bitties" baby stacking toy due to choking hazards and a previous recall; the Wonder Woman Battle Action Sword because of potential for blunt force injuries; and the Spiderman Drone Official Movie Edition, warning the potential for eye and body impact injuries.
These toys stand alongside several other toys that pose the same risks.
Fidget spinners have made headlines before, and they’re also on this naughty list. According to the manufacturers label it says: “This product is a novelty gift item. It is not intended to be used as a toy” (on a removable sticker).
Siff said this type of marketing means the company doesn’t have to follow any of the existing toy regulations, including lead standards or small parts standards.
"So we want parents to know that that's a loop hole," she said.
Siff pointed out that some manufacturers use other deceptive marketing tactics, like hiding caution and warning labels inside the toy box in small print, instead of clearly stating it on the outside.
Siff also warns that online shopping can lead to dangerous toy purchases.
"It's just a great opportunity for some of these defective and unsafe toys to resurface,” she said.
The web like the Wild West, and Siff said unfamiliar vendors could be selling toys that were formerly recalled.
That’s why she said it’s important for parents to read warnings on packages, learn the signs of hazards, and inspect all toys before giving them to your children.
There were seven deaths and 174,000 injuries due to unsafe toys last year, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
Siff hopes “Worst Toy List” will help get these dangerous toys out of the hands of kids before these injuries happen.
"We don't want to wait till there's a statistic out there,” she said. “One preventable death to one child is one too many."
Experts wants to break the false sense of security that all toys are safe because that's not always the case.