Even though Black Friday and Cyber Monday may already be in the rearview mirror, there’s still a little over three weeks until Christmas, plenty of time for those looking to make some toy-related purchases for the little ones in their lives. Indeed, sales figures show that the holidays account for an astonishing 65 percent of annual toy sales.
While parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts and other caregivers understandably want to give the children in their lives the toys that they believe will provide the most hours of fun, a national consumer safety group is once again urging them to make sure to also consider safety when making their selections in-store or online.
A few weeks back, World Against Toys Causing Harm, Inc. — otherwise known as W.A.T.C.H. — released its annual list of the nominees for the “10 Worst Toys” for the 2016 holidays.
W.A.T.C.H. officials indicated that, more than anything, the toys earning this dubious distinction serve to illustrate the common hazards found among many toys on shelves today — risks of choking, strangulation, eye injuries, blunt force injury, etc. — and, as such, the list should not be considered exclusive.
While people might be tempted to dismiss concerns over dangerous toys as overblown, consider the following:
- 19 toys with recognized defects — meaning over 800,000 units — have been recalled here in the U.S. since January 2015.
- One child is treated in an emergency room for a toy-related injury here in the U.S. every three minutes.
- There were more than 251,000 toy-related injuries in the U.S. in 2014 alone.
- There were 61 toy-related fatalities among children in the U.S. between 2010 and 2014.
This naturally raises the question as to what, if anything, parents and caregivers can do to protect their loved ones from potentially dangerous toys. We’ll examine this in our next post …