We all know that many new products will fail in the marketplace for one reason or another. Sometimes the quality is poor, or the packaging is wrong, or the price is too high. And sometimes a product fails because it can be dangerous.
Each year the non-profit organization World Against Toys Causing Harm (W.A.T.C.H.) compiles a list of the 10 “worst toys” of the year. Toys make the list when they present a hazard to children such as choking, cutting, or with one of this year’s toys, slashing.
Before crying out that “kids will be kids and anything can be dangerous,” consider that unsafe toys are a serious health issue. The numbers are scary. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission there were roughly 240,000 toy-related injuries in the U.S. in 2016. This translates to one child treated for a toy-related injury in a U.S. emergency room every three minutes. And, between January 2017 and October 2018 there were an estimated 3.5 million units of toys recalled in the U.S. and Canada.
Some of the toys on this year’s list include:
- Black Panther Slash Claw (slashing injuries)
- Power Rangers Super Ninja Steel Superstar Blade (blunt force and eye injuries)
- Stomp Rocket Ultra Rocket (eye, face, and other impact injuries)
- Cabbage Patch Kids Dance Time Doll (choking injuries)
Detailed warning labels on packaging aren’t always enough. Young, small children in particular are vulnerable, plus not all warning labels are read and followed. View the list and read the concerns.
Group Activities and Discussion Questions:
- Discuss the topic of responsibility of a company to consumers.
- View the toys on the list: https://toysafety.org/
- Divide the students into teams. Have each team review one of the products on the list.
- For the product, how should the company address the issue that it is on the “worst toys” list? What should retailers do?
- Have students research how toys are tested.
Source: Marcelo, P. (13 November 2018). The “worst toys” for the holidays, according to safety group. Associated Press.