World Against Toys Causing Harm Inc. revealed its nominees on Nov. 20 for what it calls the “worst toys” of 2013. The group recommends that children should be kept away from the toys on its list.
This year’s nominees focus on toy weapons. W.A.T.C.H. President Joan E. Siff and attorney James A. Swartz, who is one of the group’s directors, said in a joint statement that toys that resemble real weaponry have no place in the hands of children.
“Realistic looking toy guns, slingshots, boomerangs, and projectiles have the potential to lead to tragic, sometimes deadly, consequences,” the statement said. “Evidence of the potential for tragedy is the recent death of a 13-year-old boy in Santa Rosa, Calif., who was fatally shot by a police officer who mistook his toy gun for a real weapon.”
They also said detailed replicas of weapons have resulted in a number of deaths over time, and “should never be sold as toys.”
Siff and Swartz advised that parents and caregivers know what dangers to look for when they purchase toys for children.
Poor design and inadequate testing for toys are to blame for a number of deaths and injuries to children, they said.
In the year since the group’s last list was issued, there have been at least 29 toy recalls representing more than 1 million units of “dangerous toys” in the United States and Canada, the statement said.
The US Consumer Product Safety Commission reported that in 2011 at least 13 children under age 15 died in toy-related incidents, Siff and Swartz said. They added there was an estimated 262,300 toy-related injuries treated in US hospital emergency rooms during the same year.
Here’s a look at the toys on W.A.T.C.H.’s list, which the group said are sold at stores like Toys “R” US, Kmart, and Walmart, and online at places like Amazon.com.
Pictured: Siff, left, and Swartz held Mattel’s “Max Steel Interactive Steel with Turbo Sword” during a press conference at Franciscan Hospital for Children in Boston. W.A.T.C.H. said the toy has the potential to cause facial impact injuries.