W.A.T.C.H. Releases Top 10 Worst Toys List of 2022
December 1, 2022
Many parents feel the increased pressure that kicks in each year during the holiday season, while frantically shopping for the most popular toys. It can be easy to overlook the reality of dangerous toys this time of year. Toy safety has been a national concern for decades, and it remains the mission of World Against Toys Causing Harm, Inc. (W.A.T.C.H.).
According to W.A.T.C.H., toy safety continues to be a top concern. The most recent statistics from the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) show there were a reported 51 child deaths due to toy-related incidents from 2018 to 2020, and an estimated 198,000 toy-related injuries in the United States in 2020.
Unfortunately, those numbers continue to rise, even though most serious and fatal toy-related injuries are preventable. The shocking reality is that every three minutes a child is treated in an emergency room for a toy-related injury.
The following is this year’s 10 Worst Toys List as provided by W.A.T.C.H., each containing one or more safety hazards:
- Cocomelon Musical Learning Watch: Potential for battery ingestion injuries.
- Disney Raya’s Action and Adventure Sword: Potential for blunt force and eye injuries.
- Li’l Woodzeez Tickle-Your-Taste-Buds Bakery: Potential for choking injuries.
- Zeus Lion:Potential for ingestion/aspiration injuries.
- Dingray Musical Bath Toy: Potential for ingestion and choking injuries.
- Ooze Labs Chemistry Station: Potential for chemical-related injuries.
- Bunny Rabbit Cuddly Pillow: Potential for suffocation.
- Pop’n Fidget Spinners: Potential for choking injuries.
- Nerf Pro Gelfire Mythic Blasters: Potential for eye and facial injuries.
- Black Panther Wakanda Battle Claws: Potential for eye and facial injuries.
While many of the products on the list display warning or caution signs on the tags or packaging, others fail to address hazardous concerns.
What Steps Can Parents Take This Holiday Season?
Practical tips for parents to help identifying hazards and avoid potentially harmful toys include:
- Carefully inspect each toy and its packaging for safety concerns before giving it to a child.
- Familiarize yourself with recent child injuries and toy recalls.
- Stay aware of dangerous toys that are sold in retail stores and online.
- Shop defensively when considering toys for purchase.
Consumer advocates with W.A.T.C.H. caution holiday shoppers to stay vigilant, as there have been many child deaths, disfigurements, and disabilities as a result of poorly designed and tested toys.
What Are the Most Common Toy Dangers?
There are some types of toys that are generally best to avoid. Many classic toy dangers continue reappearing in new generations of toys, putting children at risk. The following are some of the most classic toy dangers:
- Small parts.
- Strings and cords.
- Toxic substances.
- Rigid materials.
- Inaccurate warnings and labels.
Some of the potential safety hazards recently identified on toy store shelves and online include:
- Button and coin cell batteries with the potential for ingestion.
- Batteries with the potential chemical burn injuries.
- Toy weapons with the potential for blunt force impact injuries.
- Soft and plush toys that can lead to infant suffocation.
Choking is one of the biggest contributors to toy-related injuries and deaths. Toys with small parts that can detach during play, or long pieces that can get stuck in a child’s airway, are just some of the less obvious hazards for consumers to keep in mind.
Who Can Be Held Liable for a Toy-Related Injury?
Consumers should be able to expect that sufficient checks and balances are in place to prevent dangerous toys from reaching store shelves and websites, but unfortunately, that is not always the case. Despite the fact that the 10 Worst Toys list has tackled the issue of toy hazards for 50 years, dangerous toys remain on this season’s store shelves, in catalogues, and on e-commerce sites. When dangerous toys cause serious or fatal injuries to children, countless families can find themselves emotionally and financially devastated.
Many toy-related injuries and deaths could have been prevented with safely designed, manufactured, and marketed products. In some cases, a products liability lawsuit can be filed with the assistance of an experienced attorney.
Depending on the nature of the incident and injuries, damages you may be able to recover in a products liability case include:
- Medical expenses.
- Lost wages.
- Pain and suffering.
- Physical impairment.
- Loss of enjoyment of life.
- Funeral and burial expenses.
- Loss of companionship.
Do Toy Recalls Help Keep Children Safe?
It has been well-established that the time to prevent injuries is during the design and manufacturing phase, long before a toy is available for sale to consumers. However, the toy-related injuries in the last year only highlight how many recalled toys continue to put children at serious risk of injury or death. The difficulty in purging stores of recalled toys further emphasizes that manufacturers and retailers need to identify the known hazards before their products enter the marketplace.
The necessity for more stringent regulation of the toy industry is clear. However, the CPSC are often unable to alert consumers in a timely fashion about serious or even life-threatening hazards due to lack of cooperation from manufacturers. Considering that time can mean the difference between life and death when it comes to notice of toy hazards, it important for parents to stay informed of current recall lists. Equally as important, however, is to remember that toy recalls have been widely unsuccessful, which increases their need to be independently diligent when it comes to toys for their children.
What Should I Do if My Child Suffers a Toy Injury?
The first thing you should do in the event of a toy injury is to get immediate medical attention for your child. The next step is to consult with a knowledgeable attorney who will protect your family’s rights and best interests. An experienced lawyer knows the nuances of substandard manufacturing practices and inadequate testing of toys currently on the market.
Going through any kind of incident that results in a serious injury is an overwhelming experience. When that injury involves a child and could have been prevented, it is imperative that you consult with an experienced attorney who knows the relevant laws.
Philadelphia Products Liability Lawyers at Galfand Berger LLP Advocate for Injured Children and Families
Our experienced Philadelphia products liability lawyers at Galfand Berger LLP can help you if your child has been harmed by a defective toy. To schedule a free consultation, call us at 800-222-USWA (8792) or contact us online. Located in Philadelphia, Bethlehem, Lancaster, and Reading, Pennsylvania, we serve clients throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania, including Allentown and Harrisburg.