As your kids enjoy summer fun in the sun, some of the toys they’re playing with could pose life-threatening hazards.
Report: Beware of these toys
Every year, World Against Toys Causing Harm, Inc. (W.A.T.C.H.) puts out a tally of the most dangerous summer toys being sold in the marketplace.
This year’s list includes everything from safety no-brainers like all-terrain vehicles, baby pools, bounce houses and backyard trampolines to less likely suspects like water balloon slingshots.
“Summer months account for nearly half of all injury-related deaths to children,” W.A.T.C.H. notes in a press release, “and hospital emergency departments will treat about 2.5 million children injured in accidents.”
Here is this year’s Top 10 list of dangerous summer toys
1. Water balloon slingshots
W.A.T.C.H. notes toys like this “pose the potential dual threat for projectile eye injuries and small part hazards for young children.”
Such slingshot toys are banned in states like Massachusetts.
2. Lawn darts
The prime danger here would be possible blunt force head injury if a child is hit with one of these things.
W.A.T.C.H. notes that pointed lawn darts were banned in the U.S. in 1988. But today, modified versions are widely available for sale.
3. Low riding wheeled toys (Big Wheels and other plastic tricycles)
“Low-profile riding toys should not be used near driveways and roads where motorists may not see [children],” W.A.T.C.H. says.
Meanwhile, other notable dangers include riding without a helmet and riding close to an in-ground pool where a child could fall in.
4. Backyard in-ground and above-ground pools
Not much comment is necessary for this one; we’re all aware of the dangers of drowning.
W.A.T.C.H recommends the following:
- Never leave your children unattended at the pool
- Remove all pool toys when not in use
- Have multiple barriers of protection to prevent access
- Regularly check all safety devices like pool covers, alarms, automatic-locking gates, etc.
This is another category of toy where the dangers are implicit. It goes without saying that children should never drive all-terrain vehicles themselves.
Furthermore, W.A.T.C.H. advises that parents carefully consider if they should even let their children ride as a passenger when an adult is driving — particularly given the potential for head, bone and other impact injuries.
6. Toys with small parts
W.A.T.C.H. says toys with small parts are a “summer safety trap” because of the unending number of recalls of these types of dangerous toys all year round.
For example, the toy pictured on the right — My First Porsche Wooden Car — was recalled in May 2018 because the wheels could detach and pose a choking hazard for young children.
7. Baby pools, garden buckets and pool covers
W.A.T.C.H. notes that young children can drown in as little as two inches of water. So the danger here is obvious.
We might also add bathtubs to the W.A.T.C.H. list. The bottom line is you should never leave your children unattended even around very shallow waters.
8. Backyard water slides
Backyard water slides intended for children pose a risk of neck injury and paralysis to any teens or adults who use them.
“The Little Tikes Wet and Dry First Slide pictured above contains warnings including ‘This product is not intended for anyone over 60 LBS.'” W.A.T.C.H. reports.
9. High-powered water guns and guns with projectile ammunition
Ready, aim, fire…just watch the eyes!
Toys like these have the potential for eye contusions and even blindness, according to W.A.T.C.H.
10. Bounce houses and backyard trampolines
You see these at backyard birthday parties every summer — particularly the kind of bounce houses a family can rent for a special occasion.
While nearly every kid loves these, the dangers include fractures and cervical spine injuries and paralysis.
In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics cautions about using home trampolines because of the potential for permanent and devastating consequences, including lasting neurological damage.