While small magnetic toys are the perennial presents to avoid, there are a number of recalls and still-on-the-market dangerous toys that gift-givers might want to steer clear of. Yard sale and auction shoppers too should be aware of at least three toys to avoid.
Classic Sport Super Bounce Pogo Sticks: Recalled Toys to Avoid
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission warns that the “Classic Sport Super Bounce Pogo Sticks” distributed by Sportcraft Ltd. are under recall. Sold at the Sports Authority, some 3,100 units have been called back due to faulty aluminum rivets that could fail and set in motion a number of dangerous outcomes, including lacerations.
Pogo sticks in general are dangerous toys, and, as outlined by an anecdote from the Doernbecher Children’s Hospital, it does not have to be recalled toys that suddenly fall apart and present serious injury risks.
Slingshot Challenger Game: Dangerous Toys Sold as Educational Tools
Channel Dennis the Menace, and it makes sense to avoid Oriental Trading’s Slingshot Challenger Game. It involves foam balls and is said to be “great for hand-eye coordination,” which makes the slingshot great for “recess.” But why then are school districts around the nation banning slingshots from being found on their properties?
Pull Along Caterpillar: Breakaway Chain Presents a Choking Hazard
The “Pull Along Caterpillar” is an offering by Imaginarium/Geoffrey, LLC, which is a subsidiary company of Toys R Us. Having owned one of these toys before, I couldn’t help but wonder why W.A.T.C.H. (World Against Toys Causing Harm) is calling to task this lovable babies toy. The good news: It has a breakaway chain. The bad news: It has a breakaway chain.
While the breakaway chain is a crucial fixture in toys with a pull string, the presence of a plastic connector on a short string – just right for swallowing! – does make this a rather dangerous toy to avoid for the toddler who puts everything into the mouth.
Beyond the Warnings
Recognizing the dangerous toys to avoid is only half the battle. Even if the parents know to not buy small magnetic toys or keep a list of recalled toys handy when hitting the yard sales, there is no accounting for friends and family members.
As a general rule of thumb, reserve the right to inspect toys for safety before letting a child play with them. While you don’t want to make a big deal about it on Christmas morning or at the birthday party, it is a good idea to move potentially dangerous toys to the side until you have a chance to give them the once-over.
U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission: “Sportcraft Recalls Pogo Sticks Sold Exclusively at The Sports Authority Due to Risk of Serious Injury”
Doernbecher Children’s Hospital: “New Doernbecher Children’s Safety Center Aims To Prevent Childhood Injuries”
Oriental Trading: “Slingshot Challenger Game”
W.A.T.C.H.: “Pull Along Caterpillar”