W.A.T.C.H. (World Against Toys Causing Harm) group’s president, Joan Siff, and Director, James Swartz, call attention to toy hazards in the marketplace year round, and particularly as the holiday shopping season begins in earnest.
Their goal is to educate consumers regarding the types of dangers lurking on toy store shelves and online, so that parents and caregivers can make informed choices about what to but for friends and loved ones. W.A.T.C.H. has called for better safety regulations and stricter oversight of the toy design and manufacturing processes for decades. Its work, seeking to hold toy manufacturers and retailers accountable, has been a precursor to design changes and recalls over many years.
Recently, W.A.T.C.H. held a conference during which James Swartz showcased examples of some of the hazards found in toys this holiday season, including a dart gun that the manufacturer labeled as “not suitable for children under 6”, which was marketed online as recommended for children ages 7 months to 5 years old. Another example is the “Explore and Learn” helicopter, with a long cord that presents a potential strangulation hazard for infants for whom the toy is marketed.