Winter holidays are supposed to be a time of joy and wonder, especially for young children. However, some aspects of holiday celebrations can have unintended consequences. Children’s gifts, for example, can harm rather than delight.
Toys and other gifts can come with built-in dangers because of the way the product was designed, manufactured, packaged or sold. Parents wondering if their children’s gifts are safe can check the website of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to find out if an item has been recalled.
Additionally, there are often stories in the media about dangerous toys and other items. For example, in November, CBS aired a story titled “10 most dangerous toys of 2015.” Parents can check after the fact to be sure that a toy brought by Santa is not on the list.
A summary of that list follows:
- Wheely Cute Pull Along: A plush dog on wheels, this toy appears on the list because the wheels could come off or crack, causing a choking hazard for small children.
- Foam Dart Gun: This dart gun that fires foam darts is startlingly realistic-looking and young people have been killed because others believed a toy “gun” they were wielding was real.
- Quick Folding Trampoline: Although the packaging says that the trampoline should be used only by adults because of the potential for head and neck injuries, it also shows a child bouncing on the trampoline.
- Poo-Dough: This molding compound contains wheat. The throw-away outside packaging contains an allergy warning, but the container of the dough does not.
- Smack Shot: A slingshot that can fire up to 100 feet, the toy includes packaging that instructs users to alert people standing close to the intended target.
- Kick Flipper: This toy is marketed as a skateboard without wheels. It encourages children to learn to do tricks and flips on it. The packaging shows children using the toy without helmets, and there are no accompanying safety warnings.
- Leonardo’s Electronic Stealth Sword: This rigid plastic sword could cause facial and other skin lacerations, according to the list.
- Kid Connection Doctor Play Set: This doctor kit includes a thin plastic tongue depressor that could obstruct a child’s airway.
- Pull-Along Zebra: The cord of this pull toy is about 21 inches long and could pose a strangulation hazard for small children. The toy is intended for babies as young as 1 year.
- Jurassic World Velociraptor Claws: This toy is marketed to children as young as 4, inviting them to “claw like a raptor.” There are no warnings included on the packaging about the potential for eye and skin injuries.
The list in the CBS story was based on information provided by W.A.T.C.H. (World Against Toys Causing Harm), which is dedicated to “educating the public about dangerous children’s products,” according to the organization’s website.
If you think your child was harmed by a dangerous toy, consult an attorney about a product defect claim.