Just in time for Christmas, World Against Toys Causing Harm, Inc. (W.A.T.C.H.) has released their list of the ten worst toys of 2006. What follows is a quick rundown of the ten most dangerous toys of the year…
1. Heelys — You know, the shoes with wheels in the heels? Yeah, not so safe. While the manufacturer warns that they can be dangerous, W.A.T.C.H. complains that they’re marketed to children who are unprepared for the risks.
2. Z Launcher: Tubo Water Balloon Launcher — Not surprisingly, pretty much anything that can propel a water balloon 100 feet with “Direct-hit Accuracy” isn’t the safest toy on the block. Not to mention the fact that the balloons themselves pose a choking risk to young kids.
3. Pram Decoration Blossoms — Hmmmm… Who would’ve thought that a two foot cord covered with small beads and other small cloth and wooden items might be dangerous to a young child? While it’s being sold in the U.S. for use on a “stroller or crib,” the warning on the box says that it should not be attached to a crib or playpen. Huh?
4. Pottery Barn Kids Pyramid Stacker — It’s basically a vertical wooden dowel attached to a base. When you stack the pieces on it, you get a pyramid. But if you happen to fall on it, you get a severe blunt impact or puncture injury (despite the lack of warnings).
5. Bow & Arrow Set — This one kind of makes me chuckle since I walked out in the backyard yesterday and found our 9 year old son playing with one of these, but… It’s not a particularly good idea to hand a child a bow and arrow that shoots wooden shafts — even if they have rubber tips (which could come off). W.A.T.C.H. complains that “Weaponry should not be sold as toy for children.” Too bad we didn’t get the memo before buying one for our son… 😉
6. Zip-ity Do Dolly — Seven learning activities plus multiple choking hazards…
7. Lil Snoopy — The toy industry has adopted a voluntary standard of keeping the strings on toys to 12 inches or less. But this one comes complete with a 27 inch pull string, and is marketed to children ages 12 months and older.
8. Superman Lamp — Despite being sold in toy departments and molded in the form of Superman, the manufacturer claims that this one isn’t a toy — rather, it should be kept out of reach of children to avoid the risk of fire, burns, and (presumably) electrocution. Moreover, families are further cautioned to “[un]plug the product when leaving the house, when retiring for the night, or if left unattended.”
9. Sky Blaster — It’s an “all-in-one rocket launcher” that should be aimed at others, and requires kids to alert everything within range that they’re about launch it. That being said, kids are encouraged to bend the fins “to achieve spinning flights.”
10. Fear Factor Candy Challenge — According to W.A.T.C.H., “Toy aisles should not be used to encourage food-eating competitions, which invite potential choking and ingestion injuries, particularly for young children.” Enough said.