Dangerous Toys to Avoid in the 2017 Holiday Season

Check our list of dangerous toys to avoid this holiday season unless the thought of Christmas in the emergency room appeals to you. While the United States has some of the strictest toy safety rules in the world, dangerous toys still find their way to our shores, often through discount retailers or eBay, where recalled toys may still be available.

Major toy manufacturers have made strides toward minimizing toy dangers, there are still problems that can arise from improper manufacturing or spirited play. Sheff Law has compiled this list to help you reduce the risk of personal injury and keep the holidays safe and fun for everyone.

Toys Recalled in 2017

Even though these toys have been recalled by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, they may still be available for sale online through eBay, Craigslist or person-to-person selling apps like letgo.  Do not buy these products if you see them. Resellers may not be aware of the recalls, unlike retailers who must remove them from the shelves as soon as a recall is announced.

Toys “R” Us Totally Me! Clay Craft Kits – The clay may contain mold that can cause respiratory problems in people with weakened immune systems or mold allergies

Hoverboards – Eight models, including iRover, iLive, Go Wheels, Sonic Smart Wheels, iHoverspeed, Smart Balance Wheel, Drone Nerds and Tech Drift were recalled due to fire and explosion risks from their lithium-ion batteries. These were sold by retailers including Amazon and Ace Hardware. As a rule of thumb, do not buy any second-hand hoverboard, as thousands have been recalled in recent years because of battery fires.

Plan Toys Baby Gyms – These have ropes on the crossbars that can strangle an infant.

Kids Preferred Wind-Up Musical Toys – The crank for the winding mechanism can come loose and become a choking hazard. There are 20 different styles of these musical stuffed animals, with more than 580,000 solid in the United States prior to the recall.

Toys “R” Us Infant Wiggle Ball – Rubber knobs attached to the ball can break off and become a choking hazard.

Hallmark Itty Bittys Baby Plush Stacking Toys – Hats and bows on the plush figures can come loose and become a choking hazard.

Winkel Colorburst Activity Toy by Manhattan Toy – The colored tubes can become brittle and break, presenting a choking hazard for infants.

Pulse Performance Products Krusher Scooter – The down tube can break, creating a fall hazard.

Risky Playthings

Another category of dangerous toys is those that can be a hazard under certain circumstances. These toys are legal to sell in the United States and have passed government tests, but present risks if they are used without supervision.

Swords, Crossbows and Projectiles – Plastic swords and shields can cause lacerations and eye injuries. NERF darts can cause eye injuries, as can any other toy that fires projectiles. As a rule, these toys have warning labels that advise kids not to shoot at other kids, but that’s the point of the toy. Use discretion with these toys and think about how your kids tend to play. Remember that you can be held liable if your child injures another child with a toy.

Pull Toys – Strings on toys for infants must be 12 inches or less to prevent strangulation, but pull toys are an exception. The Pull-Along Pony by Tolo Toys appeared on one 2017 dangerous toys list because it has a 19-inch string, but this is allowed under United States law. Pull toys are not a hazard when used with parental supervision. Just be sure to keep them out of reach for small children when parents are not around.

Trampolines – If you want to see how high your homeowners’ insurance rates can go, add a trampoline to the back yard. In 2016, trampolines were responsible for 103,512 emergency room visits, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons recommends that children under the age of 6 never be allowed on trampolines. Yet Wal-Mart offers the Skywalker Trampolines Bounce-N-Learn for toddlers. Keep toddler trampolines off the holiday gift list.

LEGO — If you’ve stepped on one with bare feet, you know the risks to parents. LEGO is actually one of the best toys you can get for your kids, along with Playmobil, but be cautious if you have older children and infants in your home. Small pieces in these toy sets can be a choking hazard for infants and toddlers who put everything in their mouths. Again, consider your own children and how they behave. Consider keeping those toys out only when there is adult supervision.

Lead – It has been several years since there has been a major toy recall for lead paint, but this does not mean that lead is no longer a danger. Some toy jewelry made in China has been cited by the Consumer Product Safety Commission for excessive lead content, and in November U.S. PIRG found dangerous levels of lead in fidget spinners. The Consumer Product Safety Commission responded to the discovery by explaining that fidget spinners are a general-use product, not a toy, so they are not subjected to the same level of testing. With that in mind, you may want to cross all fidget spinners off the gift list (especially considering that the fad is over).

Dangerous toys are an area of products liability where the attorneys at Sheff Law have extensive experience and expertise. We offer free consultations for people harmed by defective products, and there is no fee for our legal services unless you receive a settlement. To put our team of lawyers to work for you, call us at 1-888-43-4477 or contact us online.

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