One Child Is Treated In U.S. Emergency Rooms Every Three Minutes For A Toy-Related Injury
(Boston, MA–Nov. 19, 2019) World Against Toys Causing Harm, Inc. (W.A.T.C.H.) today revealed its nominees for the “10 Worst Toys of 2019” and demonstrated why the “Nerf Ultra One,” “Pogo Trick Board,” and other potentially hazardous toys should not be in the hands of children. Although intended for fun and entertainment, many toys contain hidden hazards unnecessarily putting children at risk of injury or death. W.A.T.C.H. addressed the types of toy hazards available online, as well as in retail stores, so parents and caregivers know what traps to avoid when buying toys—especially in the upcoming 2019 holiday shopping season.
At this year’s press conference at Franciscan Children’s in Boston, Consumer Advocates Joan Siff, President of W.A.T.C.H., and James Swartz, Director of W.A.T.C.H., illustrated some of the classic safety hazards that continue to re-appear year after year. These traps included poorly designed toys as well as inconsistent and inadequate warnings, cautions and age recommendations. Highlighted at this year’s conference, among other safety concerns, were projectile toys that could fire with enough force to potentially cause eye injuries and toys that encourage children to jump or ride with the potential for head injuries. Some of these toys are sold without the proper safety gear or marketed with inconsistent safety messages. Swartz and Siff also discussed the impact of online purchasing on toy safety, up-to-date information about toy recalls and the necessity for more stringent oversight of the toy industry. Unfortunately, there have been many deaths, disfigurements and disabilities inflicted upon children as a result of poorly designed and tested toys. One reason the message today is so urgent: Many toy-related injuries are preventable.
For over four decades, W.A.T.C.H. has tackled the issue of dangerous toys in the hope of bringing about change and reducing injuries to children. Nonetheless, dangerous toys remain on store shelves, in catalogues, and on e-tailers’ websites. Shockingly, classic toy dangers, such as small parts, strings, projectiles, toxic substances, rigid materials, and inaccurate warnings and labels, continue to be manufactured by the toy industry in newly designed packaging.