Every year, World Against Toys Causing Harm (WATCH), a consumer safety group, releases a list of the “worst toys for the holidays.” The Massachusetts nonprofit has put out this list for more than 40 years, alerting parents of the toys with the highest potential safety hazards. So what’s on the list of unsafe toys 2019?
This year, Nerf dart guns, ice cream-scented Nickelodeon slime and a “pogo trick board” top the toy safety WATCH list. Others include a plastic Power Rangers claw, a realistic toy machine gun, a yeti teddy bear, and a pull-along caterpillar toy for infants.
WATCH unveiled the unsafe toys 2019 list on Tuesday at a Boston children’s hospital. The list focuses on toys that pose safety hazards like choking, potential eye damage and toxic ingestion. It also cites products for having inconsistent or inadequate warning labels.
“By law, all toys sold in the United States must meet 100+ rigorous safety tests and standards,” The Toy Association said in a written statement, the Associated Press reported. “On the other hand, WATCH does not test the toys in its report to check their safety; their allegations are based on [toy companies’] misrepresentation or misunderstanding of the mandatory toy standards.”
According to WATCH, the Nerf Ultra One gun, which fires “soft darts” up to 120 feet, can shoot with enough force to cause serious eye injuries. As for the Pogo Trick Board, the warning label tells children to wear protective gear, but the product’s packaging features a child using the equipment without a helmet or any other protection.
What’s wrong with the Nickelodeon “Frozen Treats” Slime? Though it warns the products are made of harmful (toxic) chemicals and shouldn’t be eaten, the slime scents include irresistible mint chocolate chip, berry smoothie and snow cone.
The Toy Association, a toy industry trade group representing most of the toymakers with products on the list, says the annual WATCH list is misleading. They suggest parents always purchase toys from reputable stores and online sellers.