Many Florida parents and grandparents assume that the Christmas and Hanukkah toys they buy for the little ones in their lives are safe. However, that's not a guarantee.
The group World Against Toys Causing Harm recently published its annual list of the most hazardous toys available this holiday season. Despite increased safety regulations, according to WATCH, retailers still sell an "alarming number of toys" that "should not be in the hands of children."
Several toys that children can use for play battles of various sorts made the WATCH list:
-- One foam dart gun was considered to look too much like an actual gun. The Ninja Battle Sword made the list because the blade, although plastic, can cause injuries.
-- A slingshot-type toy called Smack Shot comes with ammunition that the manufacturer says can land as far as 100 feet away. If your child loves all things "Jurassic World," WATCH says to beware of the velociraptor claws that enable kids to "claw like a raptor!" However, there are no warnings about the risk of injuries to the eyes and other parts of the body.
The lack of safety warnings and the portrayal of the products use on the packaging were issues with other products.
-- The Kick Flipper is marketed as a "skateboard without wheels." Kids are encouraged to flip, kick and pop the board. However, there's no mention of using protective gear nor is the child on the package wearing any.
-- A mini-trampoline packaging does caution that it should be played on "only with adult supervision." However, there is no adult pictured on the box with the jumping child.
Dangerous parts are another issue for consumers to beware of. Two pull-along toys are among WATCH's list of dangerous products:
-- Pull Along Zebra, marketed for children as young as a year, contains cord that's long enough to be a strangling hazard.
-- Skipit's Wheely Cute Pull Along is a plush puppy atop wooden wheels. However, some lots of the product were recalled earlier this year because the hubcaps on the wheels could come off and pose a choking hazard.
Common sense about safety is important when purchasing a children's product. However, we depend on manufacturers and retailers to work to ensure that their products won't cause harm. When they do cause injury, people have a right to explore their legal options.
Source: Deseret News, "The 10 most dangerous toys for kids," Herb Scribner, Nov. 22, 2015