10 of the Worst Toys You Could Buy This Holiday Season

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A woman shopping for toys
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Before you head out to do a little holiday shopping, an advocacy group is warning you to stay away from purchasing a few specific toys.

World Against Toys Causing Harm — better known as W.A.T.C.H. — has released a list of the 10 worst toys of 2023 in terms of their potential for injuries. This is the nonprofit organization’s 51st annual list.

In a press release, W.A.T.C.H. says its goal is to identify toys that represent “traps” parents should avoid when shopping for their kids:

“Among other safety concerns, these traps include toy weaponry with the potential for blunt force and eye injuries, plush pillow toys that could potentially lead to infant suffocation, and water beads, such as Orbeez Seeds – Rainbow on W.A.T.C.H.’s list, that could expand when swallowed, potentially leading to choking or ingestion injuries.”

This year’s list of toys — and the reasons for which they made the list — are:

  • Disney The Little Mermaid King Triton’s All-Powerful Trident: Potential for blunt force and eye injuries
  • Original Squishmallows – Raisy: Potential for suffocation
  • Soccer Boppers: Potential for blunt force and impact injuries
  • Diecast Fast-Food Truck: Potential for choking injuries
  • Our Generation Hop In Dog Carrier: Potential for choking injuries
  • Orbeez Seeds – Rainbow: Potential for choking and ingestion injuries
  • Splat-R-Ball Dude Perfect Blaster: Potential for eye injuries
  • B Toys Make A Melody Musical Instrument Set: Potential ingestion and choking injuries
  • Zoom- O Turbo Disc Launcher: Potential for face and eye injuries
  • Carve Pro Stunt Scooter: Potential for head and other impact injuries

W.A.T.C.H. says that in the U.S., one child receives treatment in an emergency room for a toy-related injury every three minutes. It adds that poorly designed and tested toys have resulted in deaths, disfigurements and disabilities.

The organization cites figures from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission documenting an estimated 206,000 toy-related injuries that were treated at U.S. hospital emergency departments in 2021. From 2019 to 2021, 30 children reportedly died due to toy-related incidents.

W.A.T.C.H also emphasizes that toys on its list are simply “illustrative of some potential hazards in toys being sold” and that many other hazardous toys lurk on store shelves. The organization urges parents to shop carefully and to look for “safety red flags” in toys and their packaging.

Parents looking for more tips on buying toys safely can check out the article “Choosing Safe Toys for School-Age Kids” at the Nemours Foundation’s KidsHealth website.

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