Anyone in the market for "green slime" and "'Black Panther'-inspired claws" to gift to children this year, beware: On Monday, the Boston-based consumer advocacy group, World Against Toys Causing Harm, Inc (WATCH) announced the 10 worst toys of 2020 they say “may contain hidden hazards unnecessarily putting children at risk of injury or death,” the Associated Press reported
“Shockingly, classic toy dangers, such as small parts, strings, projectiles, toxic substances, rigid materials, and inaccurate warnings and labels, continue to reappear in new generations of toys putting children at risk,” the organization said.
According to WATCH, every three minutes a child is brought to the emergency room for a toy-related injury. And, each year there are an estimated 240,000 toy-related injuries to children each year.
Consumer Advocates Joan Siff, president of W.A.T.C.H., and James Swartz, director of W.A.T.C.H., pointed to some of the safety hazards recently identified on toy store shelves and online, including toys with small parts or fiber-like hairs. They said such toys may have the potential to cause choking or ingestion injuries, which those giving toys to young children especially should be mindful of.
Siff and Swartz also noted some toys that encourage aggressive or violent play that could result in potential impact or laceration injuries and toys sold with unrealistic warnings and instructions also made the list.
Each of the toys on the list has extensive warnings, age recommendations, and language about adult supervision.
The 10 toys W.A.T.C.H. flagged are:
1. Calico Critters Nursery Friends for potential risk of choking.
2. Missile Launcher for potential risk of eye and facial injuries.
3. Marvel Avengers Vibranium Power FX Claw for potential risk of eye and facial injuries.
4. Gloria Owl for potential risk of ingestion.
5. WWE Jumbo Superstar Fists for potential risk of blunt force and impact injuries.
6. Sci-Fi Slime for potential risk of chemical-related injuries.
7. Boomerang Interactive Stunt UFO for potential risk of propeller-related injury.
8. Boom City Racers for potential risk of eye and facial injuries.
9. My Sweet Love Lots of Love Babies Minis for potential risk of choking.
10. Star Wars Mandalorian Darksaber for potential risk of blunt force and eye injuries.
The Toy Association, which represents manufacturers, called the W.A.T.C.H. list “needlessly alarmist,” the AP reported.
“By law, all toys sold in the United States must meet 100+ rigorous safety tests and standards,” the Toy Association said in a statement. “However, WATCH does not test the toys in its report to check their safety; their allegations appear to be based on their misrepresentation of the mandatory toy standards — and of the priority, the toy industry puts on a safe and fun play.”
The Toy Association said parents and others should always choose age-appropriate toys, encourage safe play and make sure they purchase toys from reputable manufacturers and sellers, the AP reported.