Choke, lac­er­a­tion, burn haz­ards cited

Boston Herald - - BIZSM@RT -

Fid­get spin­ners, a plas­tic Won­der Woman bat­tle sword and a re­mote-con­trolled Spi­der-Man drone are among the toys top­ping a con­sumer safety group’s an­nual list of worst toys for the hol­i­days.

World Against Toys Caus­ing Harm, or WATCH, un­veiled the top 10 list yes­ter­day at a Bos­ton chil­dren’s hos­pi­tal. The non­profit or­ga­ni­za­tion has been re­leas­ing the lists for more than four decades.

WATCH claims fid­get spin­ners con­tain small parts that can be a chok­ing haz­ard, Mat­tel’s Won­der Woman sword has the po­ten­tial to cause blunt-force in­juries and Marvel’s Spi­der-Man drone has mul­ti­ple ro­tat­ing blades that can lead to eye and other bod­ily in­juries.

The Toy As­so­ci­a­tion, an in­dus­try trade group, dis­missed the list as “need­lessly fright­en­ing” to par­ents be­cause all toys sold in the U.S. meet “rig­or­ous” safety stan­dards.

Na­tional toy safety stan­dards are “in­ad­e­quate,” as can been seen by the high num­ber of re­calls each year, WATCH Pres­i­dent Joan Siff said.

The non­profit says there have been at least 15 re­calls rep­re­sent­ing nearly 2 mil­lion units of dan­ger­ous toys since De­cem­ber.

Siff stressed the toys named each year have com­mon haz­ards that the group sees year af­ter year.

With con­sumers in­creas­ingly do­ing their hol­i­day shop­ping on­line, it is more im­por­tant than ever to have the most cur­rent in­for­ma­tion about the safety of a toy on­line, Siff said.

For ex­am­ple, Hall­mark’s Dis­ney-themed “Itty Bit­tys” plush stack­ing toy for ba­bies was re­called over the sum­mer due to fab­ric pieces that posed a chok­ing haz­ard. But the toy still is read­ily avail­able on­line be­cause many web sales are rarely mon­i­tored for re­calls, Siff noted.

Among the other toys that made this year’s list are Nerf’s “Zom­bie Strike” cross­bow, which the or­ga­ni­za­tion says poses the risk of eye and face in­juries, Ra­zor’s “Heel Wheels,” which are strapped onto chil­dren’s shoes and pose a burn risk be­cause they in­clude “real spark­ing ac­tion,” and “Slack­line,” a tightrope-like de­vice by Brand 44 meant to be an­chored be­tween two trees that WATCH says can lead to se­vere in­jury and death.

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