Watch out for dangerous products when toy shopping

California parents consider several factors when choosing toys for their children. Generally, they want their kids to play with toys that are interesting, that will be fun, and that may even provide some education or skill building. Overall, parents want the toys to be safe. Unfortunately, too many dangerous products hit the shelves, especially at this time of year, leaving children vulnerable to injury and even death.

Each year, a safety watchdog group called World Against Toys Causing Harm publishes a list of the most dangerous toys on the market. Some of the toys on the list W.A.T.C.H. considers dangerous promote violent play, but others have design flaws that place children at risk, such as:

  • Toys that appeal to oral-age kids but are small enough to be choking hazards
  • Toys with projectile parts that may result in eye injuries
  • Toys made of fabric with loose fibers that a child may inhale or ingest
  • Toys with sharp, plastic claws or hard, rigid edges
  • Toys that contain chemicals or toxins that may be harmful if a child swallows them or allows contact with skin or eyes

While some of these dangerous products contain warnings, W.A.T.C.H. considers many of the warnings to be unreasonable. For example, a rocket with a ripcord launcher marketed for children four years and older warns them not to aim it at the eyes or face. At this time of year when California parents may be looking for unique toys for their children, safety is critical. A toy manufacturer that fails to adhere to high standards or package products with appropriate warnings may face liability when children suffer injuries as a result.