Beware of these toys when shopping for Christmas gifts for your children
The World Against Toys Causing Harm (WATCH) recently unveiled its 47th annual report that focuses on the dangers of toys that will most likely cause harm to your children.
In its report, WATCH notes that certain safety hazards continue to re-appear year after year such as poorly designed toys, inconsistent and inadequate warnings, toxic substances, rigid materials, cautions and age recommendations.
The list includes toys such as the Nerf Ultra One dart gun, a Power Rangers Electronic Cheetah Claw, the Pogo Trick Board, and other potentially hazardous toys, which are considered dangerous be in the hands of children.
The report also outlines 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.
Kirstie Haslam, partner at DSC Attorneys, agrees and says that unfortunately there have been many deaths, disfigurements and disabilities inflicted upon children as a result of poorly designed and tested toys. “This is alarming considering that many of toy-related injuries are preventable,” she adds.
“In South Africa thousands of potentially dangerous toys hit the shelves which end up in the hands of children because of the lack of legislation ensuring toys that are sold are safe.”
“Warnings on toys for sale in South Africa should certainly at a minimum comply with the SABS, South African National Standard. Beyond any regulatory/statutory requirements however, there is a duty on a toy manufacturer to take reasonable measures to ensure not only that a toy is safely constructed/manufactured, but further to ensure that adequate warnings are given regarding the safe use of a toy.”
Here is a list of five unsafe toys:
1. NERF Ultra One
Manufactured by Hasbro, According to WATCH, this dart ‘blaster’ has ammunition that ‘fires up to 120 feet’ with ‘powerful speed’ making this the ‘farthest flying NERF dart ever'. The darts provided can shoot with enough force to potentially cause eye injuries.
2. Spike the fine motor hedgehog
The item is available for parents to purchase for kids as young as 18 months old and according to WATCH, this toy is harmful because it could block your child's airway because it has multiple removable plastic parts.
3. Bunchems Bunch
Manufactured by Spin Master, this toy consists of multi-coloured activity balls that are meant to stick together when children engage in building activities.
However, there have been reports of the plastic, connective toys becoming ensnared in children’s hair.
4. Nickelodeon frozen treats slime
Manufactured by LaRose Industries, LLC, The slime is advertised to have the appearance of some of their favourite frozen treats such as‘mint chocolate chip’, ‘berry smoothie’, and ‘soft serve.’
However, the manufacturer issues a warning regarding ‘harmful chemicals in the product and that it can't be eaten.
5. Anstoy electronic toy gun
According to WATCH, these types of toys that are detailed replicas mistaken for lethal weaponry have resulted in numerous deaths of children over the years and that it should not be sold as toys.
See the whole list here.
Written by: Gabriella Steyn.