WATCH List of Worst Toys for 2014
Christmas memories should be filled with warm thoughts of past holiday gatherings and loved ones, family traditions and special gifts, not nightmares of emergency room visits with injured children. If you’re buying toys this year for that special child on your list, avoid these top 10 worst toys of 2014 as determined by the consumer advocacy group WATCH (World Against Toys Causing Harm). Many of the toys listed have inadequate safety or age warnings, or contain parts that may become suffocation, strangulation or ingestion hazards for children too young to appreciate the dangers while enjoying their new Christmas toys.
- Zing Air Storm Fire Tek Bow – Although the manufacturer warns against aiming the bows directly at another’s face or eyes, this warning may be difficult for children to follow and present an injury hazard to others when children are engaged in make-believe when playing with this bow and arrow set.
- Radio Flyer Ziggle – This toy, recommended for children ages 3 to 8, contains warnings to wear appropriate safety gear when riding, including a helmet, yet the smiling child featured on the box is not wearing a helmet.
- Toysmith Catapencil – This pencil catapult does not contain any safety warnings or age restrictions and encourages use as “target practice for your desktop” but is a sharpened pencil the best toy for a child?
- Alphabet Zoo Rock & Stack Pull Toy – This toy is designed for toddlers and younger children as pictured on the packaging, yet the 20-inch cord exceeds the recommended 12-inch cord safety standard, and presents a strangulation hazard for young children.
- SWAT Electronic Machine Gun – This realistic-looking electronic machine gun actually contains a warning on the packaging that it may be mistaken for a real weapon and in light of the recent fatal shooting by police of a 12-year old Cleveland boy who was playing with a toy weapon, we join in WATCH’s recommendation against this type of toy.
- Wal-Mart’s Spark. Create. Imagine. Wooden Toys – These wooden toys, recommended for children 12 months and older, present a choking hazard for younger children.
- Science Wiz Bottle Rocket Party – These bottle rockets are marketed for children ages 8 and older and present the potential for eye and other injuries. Although the manufacturer safety warnings advise wearing goggles when using this toy, no goggles are provided.
- Lil’ Cutesies Best Friends doll – This adorable doll is marketed for young children ages two and older but the bow on the doll can easily become detached posing a choking hazard for the younger children for whom it is intended.
- Toys R Us True Legends Savage Orc Battle Hammer – This nearly 2-foot hard plastic hammer is marketed to children 3 and older, yet contains no safety warnings or instructions against wielding the toy against playmates and other children. This toy has potential injury written all over it.
- Toys R Us Plush Hedgehog – This cute stuffed animal has pink fibrous hair that can easily become detached posing ingestion, choking and aspiration hazards for younger children.
In the event someone on your Christmas list is injured by a defective product or because of inadequate warnings or age recommendations on a toy, first seek immediate medical treatment and then consider whether to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney about potential remedies for the injuries suffered by that special someone. You should also report any defective product to the Consumer Product Safety Commission at www.saferproducts.gov or by contacting them at 800-638-2772.