Every year, retailers and manufacturers eagerly wait to see which toys will top holiday wish lists. While every toy company wants to have a prominent place, there is one list that they want no part of: W.A.T.C.H.’s (World Against Toys Causing Harm) annual 10 Worst Toys list.
Since 1973, W.A.T.C.H. has identified toys that have the potential to cause injuries or death in hopes of warning the public of possible dangers and spurring positive changes in toy design.
Here are a few tips from the organization for choosing safe toys:
- Be cautious of toys marketed only online without instructions or age recommendations. Likewise for toys that come as a bonus with other merchandise. Always check the quality.
- Toys with small, removable parts, attachments at the end of a lace/string, or long handles are choking hazards to small children.
- Projectile toys can cause injuries and blindness.
- Toys with strings or cords longer than six inches, as well as crib toys that are strung over the crib, can cause a strangulation hazard to small children.
- Be careful of toys made with hazardous and flammable surfaces and components.
- Toys that make extremely loud sounds can affect a child’s hearing, particularly small children who play with their head near a toy.
To see the most recent list of the 10 Worst Toys, visit www.toysafety.org.