With the holiday shopping season upon us, two groups recently released reports about potentially dangerous toys.
The U.S. Public Interest Group (PIRG) Education Fund and World Against Toys Causing Harm (WATCH) issued warnings about certain toys that can be found on store shelves.
In its 32nd annual Trouble in Toyland survey, PIRG warns against the following toys:
- Any data-collecting toys, such as the My Friend Cayla doll;
- Toys with small parts that don’t contain a warning label, including a peg game, golf and football travel games found at Dollar Tree;
- Toys with high amounts of lead, particularly two types of fidget spinners that were being sold at Target: the Fidget Wild Premium Spinner Brass and the Fidget Wild Premium Spinner Metal, both distributed by Bulls i Toy. (The company has since said it will be removing the two models from stores.);
- Balloons, which cause the majority of choking deaths among children from toys or kids’ products. Balloon sets were found at Dollar Tree, Party City and Dollar City Plus that were aimed at children younger than 8 or had labels that we misleading.
- Hallmark Itty Bittys Baby Stacking Toy (retailer: eBay): There was a recall notice issued in August by the Consumer Product Safety Commission over “fabric hats and bows that can detach, posing a choking hazard.” The toy is still available online.
- Pull Along Pony by Tolo Toys (retailers: Magic Beans, Amazon, Bonanza; for ages 12 months+): Manufacturers face an industry standard of toy strings being less than 12 inches in length, but pull toys can have longer strings. This one measures about 19 inches and doesn’t have warnings.
- Wonder Woman Battle-Action Sword by Mattel (retailers: Toys R Us, Target, Walmart; for ages 6+): Potential facial or blunt force injuries.
- Hand Fidgetz Spinners by Kipp Bros. (retailers: Walmart, Kippbrothers.com, bulktoystore.com): Some have small parts that can present a choking risk.
- Spider-Man Spider-Drone Official Movie Edition by MArvel and Skyrocket Toys (retailers: Target, Best Buy, Toys R Us, Walmart; for ages 12+): With fast-moving blades, this toy can cause eye and body injuries, as the toy states in warning labels on the package or package insert.
- Hasbro Nerf Zombie Strike Deadbolt Crossbow (retailers: Kmart, Toys R Us, Target, Walmart; for ages 8+): The force that launches the arrow could cause eye injuries, as stated in packages’ warning labels.
- Slackers Sackline Classic Series Kit by Brand 44 (retailers: Amazon, Dick’s sporting Goods, L.L. Bean, Home Depot and Magic Beans; “safe for all ages”): Can cause strangulation and children can fall and injure themselves. It’s warning says: “CAUTION: Remember a Slackline can be a potentially dangerous piece of equipment and can cause serious injury or even death.”
- Oval Xylophone by Plan Toys and Plan Creations Co. (retailers: Target, Toys R Us, Walmart, Magic Beans; for ages 12 months+): The drumstick handle can end up blocking a child’s airway.
- Jetts Heel Wheels by Razor USA (retailers: Kmart, Toys R Us, Walmart, Kohls, Target; for ages 8+): Can cause injury from falling and burn children from sparks. Its warning says: “USING HEEL WHEELS CAN BE A DANGEROUS ACTIVITY AND MAY RESULT IN INJURY OR DEATH. … USE AT YOUR OWN RISK….”
- Brianna Babydoll by Melissa & Doug (retailers: Target, Toys R Us; ages 18 months+): The removable clothing items can present a choking hazard.
Industry trade group The Toy Association called the list “needlessly frightening,” according to The Associated Press. It asserted that all toys sold in the U.S. must follow “rigorous” safety rules, and it called out WATCH for not testing the toys that it includes in its list.
WATCH President Joan Siff responded, calling the safety standards “inadequate” and citing the number of recalls each year.