You’d better watch out. You’d better not buy.
Though Santa Claus has come and gone, toys deemed unsafe are still for sale on store shelves across the country. The 24th annual Trouble in Toyland list of unsafe toys issued by the Public Interest Research Group exposes playthings the watchdog group says its researchers purchased and analyzed. Sixteen toys violate manufacturing standards or are potentially dangerous.
Another group, known as W.A.T.C.H. (World Against Toys Causing Harm, Inc.) issued its list of “10 Worst Toys” that the group says have “the potential to cause childhood injuries, or even death.”
The lists of 10 Worst Toys include the following:
- The Disney-Pixar “Wall-E” foam rocket launcher. It uses air pressure to shoot a foam rocket 20 feet. Problem: the rocket is fired at a speed high enough to potentially cause eye injuries.
- Moon Board Pogo Board. This toy enables kids to “tricks and special jumps” from a plastic platform that has an elastic “trick handle” attached. W.A.T.C.H. warns of potential head and impact injuries.
- Curious George: My First Book of Numbers. This book for newborn infants has a 6.5-inch metal rod holding wooden beads for the babies to count. W.A.T.C.H. warns that the rod and beads can dislodge, posing choking hazards.
- The Dark Knight Batman figure by Mattel. The 30-inch Batman figure has rigid, pointed plastic with the potential for penetrating the skin and blunt-force injuries.
- The X-Men Origins Slashin’ Action Wolverine. It has sharp claws on it posing risks of eye injuries and other impact injuries.
- Lots to Love Babies mini-nursery. It contains an easily detached showerhead that poses a risk of choking for the two-year-olds and up it is marketed for.
- Just Kids Junior Musical Instruments. This toy made for K-Mart contains easily detached parts that could cause choking in the 18-months and up children it is marketed for.
- CAT rugged mini. This toy for kids 18 months and up has parts that, when exposed, could cause “serious puncture wounds,” according to W.A.T.C.H.
- Pucci Pups Maltese. Recommended for kids two years of age and up, this toy puppy has a leash “presenting a serious potential strangulation hazard,” warns W.A.T.C.H.
- Spy Gear Viper-Blaster. This Wild Planet Entertainment toy is for six-year-olds and up. It shoots darts with enough force with the potential to cause eye injuries.
The toys on the Trouble in Toyland list include the following:
- The Laugh and Learn phone from Fisher Price, a part of the company’s Laugh and Learn series of toys. The problem: the toy phone registers noise levels between 75 and 90 decibels, well above the 65 dB maximum. (Research shows extended exposure to sounds above 85 dB can cause hearing loss.)
- The Big Rex Touch and Feel cloth books are for infants and very young children. The Public Interest Research Group says these products from Priddy Books include paint with lead levels six times above the limit adopted by the government last August.
- Hasbro’s Fur Real Baby Bird has components barely passing the small parts test objects that have to be too large to fit into a 1.25-inch diameter cylinder. The toymaker avoids noting the potential choking hazard posed by the toy’s parts by sticking to the letter of the law.
- The Real Wood Shape Sorter Barn by P&C Enterprise has a piece that fits into the choking parts cylinder but has no choking hazard warning label as required by law.
We urge parents to carefully examine toys before and after purchase. If your child is injured by a defective toy or a poorly designed toy or one without a proper warning label, contact a personal injury lawyer who can advise you of your rights under the law. An attorney can help protect you and your child from the negligence of manufacturers of defective products.