Christmas is just around the corner—in fact, you may have already started your Christmas shopping. The market is probably already flooded with an overwhelming array of cheap toys. You can probably expect that your children have seen advertisements for most of them, and you’ll find them on their lists to Santa. But you need to be very careful—many toy manufacturers put out items that pose a serious risk of injury, or even death, to small children. Fortunately, there’s an advocacy group that monitors the toy market and puts out warnings to help parents and their kids.
W.A.T.C.H., or World Against Toys Causing Harm, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to informing families about potentially dangerous toys. Here are some of the items that have been on the top of their list in 2017:
- The Slimeball gun—This device, which looks like a bazooka, works like a slingshot and can cause a sting to someone 30 feet away. It’s recommended for children over the age of six, and has caused serious eye injuries to a number of teens and pre-teens.
- Peppa Pig’s Muddy Puddles Family—Depending on which package you find, this product may specifically warn that it’s “not for children under 3 years,” or it may indicate that it’s safe for toddlers as young as two. It’s not safe for either, as it has small parts that can constitute a choking hazard.
- Baby Magic doll—This doll comes with an “interactive spoon” that’s not quite three inches long. It’s a choking hazard for most small children.
- Peppy Pup—Though standards were put in place long ago limiting the length of string on any pull toy to 12 inches, this talking dog has a string that’s more than 30 inches long.
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