'Tis the season to be jolly. Fa la la la la, la la, la...ouch!
That is the unfortunate version of Deck the Halls when a hazardous toy causes injury to an unsuspecting child. Each year, there are many "hot" toys, the toys that you can't find in stores anymore, and can only purchase at a premium on eBay or Craigslist.
However, each year, there are also the "worst" toys, the toys that have a high probability of causing injury, and even death, to young children. As an optometrist, I'm concerned for the toys causing an eye injury. As a parent, I'm concerned for any toy that can cause any type of injury, especially those that are choking hazards for my 8 month old girl.
The World Against Toys Causing Harm (W.A.T.C.H.) group has a top ten hazardous toys list of 2012. Here they are:
2) Children as young as 3 years old are encouraged to “climb inside” this colorful inflatable ball, in order to “Bounce, Spin, Roll, Tumble!” The box, which portrays unsupervised children playing with the oversized inflatable ball, cautions that adult supervision is “required”. However, the toy itself indicates that adult supervision is only “recommended”.
3) The manufacturer of this dart gun with two “revolving barrels” encourages children to load the ammunition cartridge and fire “6 darts in seconds!” Despite the manufacturer’s directive that this toy not be sold for children younger than 6 years old, it was marketed online for babies as young as 7 months old. The gun can shoot the supplied darts with enough force to potentially cause eye injuries.
Avoid the toys with sharp points or objects, that launch or fire projectiles, small pieces as a choking hazard to little ones, laser pointers (very, VERY bad for the eyes), and anything that encourages hitting someone else (a la Gamma Green Smash Fists).
That is all. Have a Merry and Safe Christmas!