DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – If you find it in the toy aisle or on a well-known website, like many, you might assume the toy is perfectly safe.
However, Joan Siff, president of the consumer advocate group World Against Toys Causing Harm (W.A.T.C.H.), said, “Assuming can be dangerous.”
Despite dozens of federal safety standards, Siff said there are an alarming number of potentially dangerous toys on sale this holiday season. She said while the dangers of some toys may seem obvious, others are hard to spot.
“Almost all toy-related injuries and deaths are preventable,” she said. The consumer advocate added simply not assuming all toys are safe can be the first step towards prevention.
Based on W.A.T.C.H.’s research and its four decades of experience in examining toy safety, here are our top five dangerous toys for the 2016 holiday season.
1. Nerf Rival Apollo XV-700 Blaster – Don’t be fooled by the Nerf brand, this toy gun can shoot with enough force to cause serious eye injuries. The manufacture recommends children wear masks covering face and eyes, however; masks are not included and must be purchased separately. While the age recommendation is 14 years and older, Nerf guns are often a popular Christmas gift for children much younger.
2. Peppa Pig’s Muddy Puddles Family – Due to its small parts and the potential for choking, according to the packaging, this toy is not recommended for children under the age of three. However, W.A.T.C.H. said depending on which packaging you get the age recommendation is different. On some packing the toy is recommended for children three years and older, while other packaging of the same toy have a recommendation of two years and older. These inconsistencies can send mix messages to parents said James Swartz, Director of W.A.T.C.H. “It’s not just inconsistent warnings about issues that you might want to know about for your child, but it’s inconsistent warnings that present deadly hazards for your child – deadly,” he said.
3. Banzai Bump N’ Bounce Body Bumpers – YouTube is filled with videos of young children in bumper suits running into each other without helmets and protective equipment. On the packaging are also pictures of children in bumper suits without any protective gear. However, the warning label on the packaging states “to avoid risk of serious injury or death” protective equipment for “head, elbows, knees, and hands should be worn”
4. Peppy Pups – When it comes to strings on crib toys, the industry standard is twelve inches in length. Anything longer is considered a potential risk for strangulation, but when it comes to pull toys, such as Peppy Pups, cords are permitted to be longer. W.A.T.C.H. says this presents a potential danger for young children. The pull cord on a Peppy Pup is 31 inches. The toy includes a warning that adult supervision required.
5. Flying Heroes Launcher – The instructions on the flying toy, recommended for children 4-years-old and older, reads to only launch it at arm’s length and away from faces. The consumer advocate group, W.A.T.C.H., said this recommendation is unrealistic for 4-year-old children. This is why W.A.T.C.H. said this toy is one of the most dangerous toys of the season.