Many popular toys on the market today, including fidget spinners and hoverboards, carry serious potential hazards to kids, according to a consumer watchdog group.
World Against Toys Causing Harm (WATCH) recently released a report of toys that “have the potential to lead to tragic or deadly consequences.” Joan E. Siff, the group’s president, warned parents in a statement, “Do not be lulled into a false sense of security that a toy is safe simply because it is popular.”
Here are the toys popular with Pinoy children included in the list:
1. Fidget spinners
These small, handheld gizmos pose a choking hazard when dismantled or broken, said WATCH. Similarly, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) also advise against giving these toys to small kids. “Keep these away from young children, because they can choke on small parts. Warn older children not to put fidget spinners in their mouths,” the CPSC told The Washington Post.
The above comes after several reported incidents of children choking on the toy. “If I would have known that the toy came apart, I would have never let him get ahold of it,” Johely Morelos, mom of a 5-year-old who swallowed a piece from his fidget spinner, told ABC affiliate KATU.
News of exploding hoverboards are not new -- it has been reported since 2015. Today, warnings of the self-balancing scooters spontaneously catching fire and exploding continue to be spread to the public. The lithium batteries in the hoverboards are believed to be the cause.
Just this March in the U.S., 3-year-old and 10-year-old girls died after a hoverboard caught fire in their home, reported Forbes. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has since issued an urgent warning and recall of the brand LayZ Board hoverboards.
3. Battery-operated toys
Toys with small parts, including those that are battery operated, are a constant concern, said WATCH. It cited a specific example where the toy called the Hobby Lobby Light Up Spinner Toy was recalled because its battery cover could be easily detached exposing the small coin battery underneath.
Batteries pose not only a choking hazard, but also serious internal injury when swallowed. “While damage may be caused by alkaline material in the battery leaking out, the primary danger comes from the electrical current causing a 'chemical burn' to body tissues when the battery becomes lodged,” said Robert L. Martin, PhD., in a statement published in the Hearing Journal.
There’s always a danger when small children are swimming in or are playing near a pool, even if it is relatively shallow. “It takes only a few inches of water for a young child to drown,” says the CPSC. It takes but a moment of a parent turning his back away for a child to drown. Even the timba used for bathing, common in the Pinoy household, poses a danger. Last year, the news reported of a 1-year-old’s fatal accident involving this type of basin.
According to WATCH, “non-motorized scooters are responsible for the most toy-related injuries.” In 2015, it estimated that near 46,000 injuries to children 15 years old and below was associated with the toy. If your child is allowed to ride a scooter, make sure he is wearing protective gear and is supervised by an adult.
“Hard, rigid parts have the potential to cause eye injury, blunt trauma and other injuries upon impact,” said WATCH. The group stresses the hazards of these types of toys in light of the popularity of superheroes who use such weapons.
7. Aim-and-shoot toy guns
Water guns, toy guns with projectile ammunition, toy bow and arrows, and other aim-and-shoot toys can cause serious eye injuries, according to the consumer group. Foam dart guns, airsoft, and pellet guns are specifically mentioned. “Projectile toy guns have been known to shoot supplied ammunition with enough force to potentially cause eye injuries,” said WATCH.