Consumer Watch Group Warns Parents About Toy Dangers
It’s that time of year again. The stores are filling up with shoppers, searching for the perfect gifts to place under the tree. For parents, the hunt is on for Santa’s treasures and toy stores are filled with an overwhelming selection for your consideration. But before you make that purchase, a consumer group wants you to know which toys to leave at the store. Based on a review of numerous products, the organization created a list of toys that are reportedly hazardous to the safety and well being of their young users.
World Against Toys Causing Harm (WATCH) is a consumer advocacy group that promotes the safety of toys. Since 1972, the group has created their yearly list, with the intention of informing parents and strengthening consumer awareness. As stated on the group’s website, “Committed to raising awareness about hazards prevalent in the marketplace and to the creation of multi-dimensional educational programs, WATCH enables caregivers and children to make more informed decisions with regard to recreational products.”
As reported by CBS News, some of the toys on the list include:
- A toy bow and arrow – The projectile is reportedly released forcefully and, according to WATCH, a child is unlikely to follow the warning of the manufacturer, which advises users to avoid aiming the toy at the eyes of others.
- A toddler pull toy – This toy includes stackable characters that a child can roll around on a string. While it looks completely harmless, WATCH advises consumers that the string does not apply to industry standards. It is 8 inches longer than safety standards advise, making it a strangulation risk for toddlers.
- A bottle rocket science set – Though it is marketed as an educational toy that promotes science and invention, WATCH classifies the toy as a risk to eyes and face.
- Stuffed animal – The WATCH list includes a stuffed animal aimed at infants. It contains long, shaggy hairs that are reportedly not attached properly. These fibers are allegedly removed with ease by little fingers or when placed into the mouth by a teething infant. This causes a potential danger for swallowing or “aspiration injuries”
The Responsibility of Toy Manufacturers
Manufacturers are responsible for the safety of their products, even more so when those products are directed towards the most vulnerable members of society. When this responsibility is breached and injuries occur, children and their families are left to face extensive medical, psychiatric and financial costs. If the toy manufacturer is unwilling to compensate the victims, a court case may prove necessary to secure adequate redress. An lawyer may put forth a theory of product liability, which asserts that the toy is faulty in design, manufacturing or labeling. This argument is a challenging one to make, as it may involve the presentation of technical evidence, but an lawyer who is experienced in this area of law can be of vital assistance.