Have yourself a merry Christmas but avoid these gifts: Report lists top 10 most dangerous toys

It’s that time of the year when your little ones are champing at the bit to get their hands on the most anticipated toys for Christmas.

But as parents, we need to be mindful of any toy purchase. Will it be harmful to my child? Is it safe to play with?

In its newly released report, World Against Toys Causing Harm (WATCH) says many toys contain hidden hazards unnecessarily putting children at risk of injury or death.

And according to Kirstie Haslam, partner at DSC Attorneys, many of the toys listed are available in store and online in South Africa.

The 2020 list of ‘10 Worst Toys’ named by WATCH as most likely to cause injuries which should not be in the hands of children are:

    Marvel Avengers Vibranium Power FX Claw, Callico Critters Nursery Friends, Scientific Explorer Sci-Fi Slime, My Sweet LoveLots to Love Babies Minis, Missile Launcher, Gloria Owl, The Original Boomerang Interactive Stunt UFO, Boom City Racers Starter Pack, Star Wars Mandalorian DarksaberWWE Jumbo Superstar Fists.

In its 2020 report, WATCH also identified some of the safety hazards recently identified on toy store shelves and online, including toys with small parts, or fibre-like hairs with the potential for choking or ingestion injuries, a particular concern for young children.

The organisation highlighted toys that encourage aggressive or violent play could result in potential impact or laceration injuries and toys sold with unrealistic warnings and instructions.

Unfortunately, there have been many deaths and injuries inflicted upon children as a result of poorly designed and tested toys. WATCH stated that there is an average estimated 240 000 toy-related injuries to children each year in the US alone.

This is alarming considering that many of toy-related injuries are preventable,” said Haslam. “Due to lack of safety legislation in South Africa thousands of these hazardous toys end up on the shelves and in the hands of children.”

With many shopping online this Covid-19 festive season, Haslam advised parents to check for warnings and cautions on toys before giving them to a child.

“Warnings on toys for sale in South Africa should certainly at a minimum comply with the SABS, South African National Standard,” said added.

For a more in-depth look at the WATCH report, click here.