Holiday shopping season has begun–a time for gifts to be exchange while manufacturers sell millions of dollars worth of toys. Unfortunately, not all of the toys available on store shelves and online are safe–some may even prove quite dangerous.
At The Gilbert Law Group®, our child injury lawyers represent children and their families with products liability cases against toy makers, distributors, and sellers. Please contact our product defects law firm to request a free case evaluation.
This week, World Against Toys Causing Harm, Inc. (WATCH) put out its 2012 “10 Worst Toys” List. The group says that the toys on this year’s list have the potential to seriously hurt or kill children. The fact that online shoppers are frequently given less product data or, even age recommendations, and retailer warnings are sometimes not in line with the information provided by manufacturers is also disturbing.
The Toys on this year’s “10 Worst” List Include:
Magnetic Fishing Game (Kole Imports): While sold online for toddlers as young as 16 months, the package says this toy poses a choking hazard to kids under age 3. The plastic lure with its cord may be dangerous for kids in the oral age range.
Bongo Ball (Toys R Us): Also poses a choking hazard, as well as places kids at risk of impact and other serious injuries. While the toy recommends adult supervision, the toy box says this is required. Kids as young as age 3 are part of the target consumer group. They can climb inside the ball and bounce and roll around while in it.
Dart Zone Quick Fire 12 Dart Gun (Prime Time Toys Ltd.): Although the manufacturer directs that this toy not be sold to kids under age 6, online it has been marketed for kids as young as 7 months. The darts, when discharged, may cause eye and facial injuries.
Spinner Shark 4-Wheel Kneeboard (Fuzion NextSport): May cause serious impact injuries should a child fall off or lose control while riding the kneeboard.
Explore & Learn Helicopter (V Tech): This pull toy’s accompanying 24-inch accompanying cord may pose a strangulation risk (per industry standard, crib and playpen toys are supposed to be under 12 inches long).
N-Force Vendeta Double Sword (Hasbro): Measuring over 4.5 feet in length, this double sword may cause impact injuries to the face and other parts of the body.
Water Balloon Launcher (Water Sports): The manufacturer warns that this toy, which can launch balloons at rates of up to 75 mph, may cause serious injury or damage to the face. Its packaging says it is for kids ages 16 and up but at least one online seller marketed the balloon launcher to babies as young as 8 months. Balloons are also a well-known choking hazard.
Power Rangers Super Samurai Shogun Helmet (Bandai): Pointed, sharp parts may cause penetration and puncture injuries.
Playful Xylophone (P’Kolino): Block pieces are easy to insert in the mouth. May cause choking hazards.
The Avengers Gamma Green Smash Fists (Hasbro): Oversized “Incredible Hulk”-like fists may cause blunt impact
injuries. However, this toy doesn’t come with cautions or warnings.
A toy can cause injury because its design is inherently dangerous or because a marketing issue has rendered it a safety hazard. Failure to provide proper operating instructions, inadequate warnings, and targeting the toy toward an inappropriate age demographic are also reasons for filing a products liability lawsuit should serious child injuries or deaths result.