Despite being intended for children, an alarming number of kid’s toys result in injuries and even, in extreme cases, deaths.
World Against Toys Causing Harm (W.A.T.C.H.) is an NGO that was created to monitor and prevent these kinds of accidents by highlighting which toys have the potential to hurt children.
W.A.T.C.H.’s 2017 nominees for worst toys
This November, W.A.T.C.H released its 2017 list of toys most likely to cause injuries.
Hallmark’s Itty Bittys Baby Stacking Toy
This Disney branded toy consists of plush stackable rattling rings. The rings have fabric hats and bows that detach too easily, becoming a choking hazard.
Tolo Toys’ Pull Along Pony
This plastic pull along pony has a cord that exceeds the allowable length. This poses a strangulation or entanglement risk to children.
Mattel’s Wonder Woman Battle-Action Sword
This sword is made from rigid plastic that can cause facial injuries when children are play fighting with them.
Kipp Brothers’ Hand Fidgetz Spinners
Most fidget spinners have detachable rings that can become a choking hazard once removed from the spinner.
Mattel’s Spiderman Spider-Drone (Official Movie Edition)
This drone has high-speed rotating blades that can cause serious injury to fingers, eyes and faces.
Hasbro’s Nerf Zombie Strike Deadbolt Crossbow
Designed specifically to fire projectiles, this “crossbow” poses a risk of eye and facial injuries.
Slackers Slackline Classic Series Kit
This acrobatic kit is marketed as 5+ but the potential for injuries from falls is very high with this tightrope-like device and the line itself could be a strangulation risk.
Plan Toys’ Oval Xylophone
This toy comes with a small, narrow drumstick that would be easy for a baby to stick down their throat, causing injury and obstruction.
Razor’s Jetts Heel Wheels
These strap-on wheels have a skid pad that creates real sparks when braking. These sparks are a burn risk as they could ignite hair and certain fabrics.
Melissa & Doug’s Brianna Babydoll
This doll has many small items that are removable and could be a choking hazard to babies and small children.
Types of toys that commonly cause injuries
By nature, certain types of toys pose a greater risk to small children than others. Often, it’s when toddlers or very young children access these toys – which are designed with older children in mind – that they pose a hazard. Being aware of the risks can help you stay vigilant.
Toy medical kits
Toy medical kits tend to have small and sometimes even sharp components that can lead to choking.
Magnets that can come off and be swallowed can cause internal damage, especially if there is more than one magnet.
Toys with propellers
Any toy with rapidly moving parts, such as propellers, can result in severe eye, facial or finger injuries.
Many types of toy guns shoot small projectiles at high speed, which can cause injury to the eyes and face.
Product liability claims
If you or a dependant is injured by a dangerous toy that doesn’t carry the required warnings, you might be entitled to claim damages. Under South African law, manufacturers, retailers, distributors and suppliers can all be held liable for damages caused by defective or hazardous products.