What Are the Most Dangerous Toys of 2022?December 9, 2022
Whether you are just starting your holiday shopping, or you already have all of your gifts purchased and wrapped, you probably do not think about whether the gifts that you buy are safe. If the item is in stores and on the shelves, you should be able to assume that the products meet all safety requirements before they are sold to consumers, but that is not always the case.
Each year, World Against Toys Causing Harm, Inc. (W.A.T.C.H.) publishes its list of the top “10 Worst Toys,” and it recently released the list for 2022. This can help consumers make educated choices about the toys that they purchase and avoid those that could cause a serious injury. If your child is injured by a dangerous or defective toy, do not hesitate to contact an experienced lawyer.
Here are the 10 Worst Toys of 2022 according to W.A.T.C.H.:
- Cocomelon Musical Learning Watch: Potential for battery ingestion injuries.
- Disney Raya’s Action and Adventure Sword: Potential for blunt force and eye injuries.
- Li’l Woodzeez Tickle-Your-Taste-Buds Bakery: Potential for choking injuries.
- Zeus Lion: Potential for ingestion and aspiration injuries.
- Dingray Musical Bath Toy: Potential for ingestion and choking injuries.
- Ooze Labs Chemistry Station: Potential for chemical-related injuries.
- Bunny Rabbit Cuddly Pillow: Potential for suffocation.
- Pop’n Fidget Spinners: Potential for choking injuries.
- Nerf Pro Gelfire Mythic Blasters: Potential for eye and facial injuries.
- Black Panther Wakanda Battle Claws: Potential for eye and facial injuries.
Who Is Liable for a Toy Injury?
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), there were approximately 198,000 toy-related injuries in this country in 2020 alone, and 51 children suffered fatal injuries in accidents involving dangerous toys between 2018 and 2020.
Toy manufacturers have a responsibility to ensure that the products they sell to consumers are safe and free of any hazards or defects that can cause potentially serious injuries. If the toy company fails to make sure that the necessary safety protocols are in place and followed, the company may be held liable for personal injuries caused by the defective toy. In order to hold the toy company liable for injuries caused by a dangerous toy, you (your lawyer) must be able to prove that the toy company was negligent and failed to take the necessary steps to ensure that the toy was safe for consumers to use. There are three categories of defective products, including:
- Design defect: This occurs when there is a flaw in the product’s design. This is the most serious defect because it means that every toy in the product line will have the same defect. For example, if a toy that is meant for small children has small removable pieces that can be a choking hazard, this is a flawed design.
- Manufacturing defect: This type of defect occurs when there is a problem during the manufacturing process which causes a product to be defective. Unlike a design defect, this generally affects a single product rather than the entire product line. For example, if a bicycle has a cracked chain, this is a manufacturing defect.
- Failure to warn: Toy manufacturers are responsible for putting warnings on their toys, particularly if they have small pieces that could be a choking hazard for small children. If the toy or the toy’s packaging does not provide adequate warning regarding potential hazards that it may pose, this would be considered “failure to warn.”
What Steps Are Being Taken to Prevent Toy-Related Injuries?
According to W.A.T.C.H. data, one child is treated in an emergency room every three minutes in this country for toy-related injuries. Despite ongoing efforts by W.A.T.C.H. and other consumer safety organizations, dangerous toys continue to appear on shelves and on online retailers’ websites. There are proactive steps that can be taken to ensure that the $25 billion toy industry is manufacturing toys that are safe for children, including:
- Stricter government enforcement: The CPSC should have the authority to warn consumers immediately if there is a known hazard associated with a toy. The CPSC should also be provided with increased funding which would allow the organization to expand their workforce, conduct additional testing, enforce stricter safety protocols, and conduct more widespread and better-publicized notifications of recalls, including steep fines imposed on manufacturers whose toys are defective or have been recalled.
- Product recalls: When a toy is dangerous or defective, the CPSC will issue a product recall. Over a 10-month period in 2022, there were 27 toys recalled, which totaled over 1,300,000 total units of toys in the United States. The toys were recalled for issues including choking hazards, choking hazards, and products that contained magnets that could cause intentional obstructions, perforations, blood poisoning, and death if swallowed. While product recalls ensure that the potentially dangerous or defective toys are removed from the shelves, this is a reactive safety measure. More proactive efforts must be taken to prevent dangerous toys from ever making it to the shelves.
What Can I Do to Prevent Toy-Related Injuries?
Even when toy manufacturers are vigilant about following strict safety protocols, the system is not perfect. Toys that are defective, or present a serious safety hazard, continue to be sold to consumers every day. However, there are proactive steps you can take to prevent injuries related to an unsafe or defective toy. The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests keeping the following tips in mind when purchasing toys for the holiday:
- Carefully read all safety labels and instructions. All toys must provide warning labels about potential hazards and instructions about how to correctly use the toy. Make sure that your child is using the toy the way it is meant to be used.
- Avoid toys with small parts. In order to avoid choking hazards, toys with larger parts are recommended over toys with small parts or pieces that your child can put in their mouth.
- Do not buy toys that shoot objects into the air. This can cause eye injuries or choking hazards if there are small pieces.
- Avoid toys that make loud sounds. This can cause damage to your child’s hearing.
- Do not purchase low-quality stuffed toys. If the seams are not secure, or the toy is stuffed with bean-like pellets, this can be a choking hazard. If the toy has any loose ribbons or strings, there is a risk of strangulation.
- Avoid toys that have sharp edges. This can cause cuts and lacerations.
- Avoid kits that contain chemicals. Children under the age of 12 may not understand how to properly handle these materials. If used incorrectly, it can cause fires or explosions.
- Look at labels. Do not use electronic toys if they are not “UL Certified.”
Baltimore Personal Injury Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Represent Families Who Have Been Harmed by Defective Toys
If your child was injured by a dangerous or defective toy that you purchased for the holiday, contact one of our Baltimore personal injury lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton. Our dedicated team will address all of your questions and concerns. To schedule a free, confidential consultation, call us today at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online. We have offices in Baltimore, Glen Burnie, and Prince George’s County, allowing us to represent clients in Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Prince George’s County, Queen Anne’s County, Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.