With the holiday season, many parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles are searching for fun toys for children. Even though many toys are recalled every year, there are still toys that can hurt children on the market. It’s important to search for information in consumer groups for warnings about these dangerous toys that haven’t been recalled. Many of these toys have been recalled, but are still available at garage sales, Craigslist and other odds and ends shops.
The top ten most dangerous toys are:
1. CSI: Asbestos – Based on the CBS hit show, Crime Scene Investigation, this kit includes a special powder and brushes for kids to look for fingerprints. This powder contains up to five percent asbestos. Despite alarm of the danger in November of 2007, the toy continued to be distributed until Christmas.
2. Magnetix – This building set includes plastic pieces containing a magnet. These pieces are easily broken open and a toddler can consume the magnets. Unlike other objects swallowed by small children, magnets don’t pass through the digestive system. Instead, they connect with each other through tissue walls. This can cut off blood supply and damage vital organs.
3. Inflatable Baby Boats – Designed to be a fun way to include babies or toddler in pool fun, this toy has leg straps prone to tearing, resulting in the baby or toddler slipping out of the toy and into the water. Nearly 30 infants drowned before the toy was recalled in 2009.
4. Hannah Montana Pop Star Card Game – Lead is the second most dangerous household toxin. The law require that toys contain no more than 40 parts per million lead. This game was found to contain lead at 75 times that level. This game eventually was allowed to stay on the shelves after finding that the lead was in its vinyl, not in paint.
5. Aqua Dots – An innocent toy that contained small, colorful beads that were meant to be arranged into different designs and then set with a sprinkle of water. After being exposed to water, the glue in the coat of the beads activated and fused them together. However, after some children vomited and lapsed into comas after swallowing the beads, it was found that the glue contained chemicals that metabolized into gamma-hydroxybutyrate, otherwise known as GHB – the date rape drug.
6. Snacktime Cabbage Patch Doll – A popular doll that turned billions of dollars in sales has a Snacktime Edition of the doll that cannot distinguish the difference between a snack and a child’s finger or hair. With no off-switch, the mechanical doll was recalled after the doll tried to consume fingers of unlucky children.
7. Mini Hammocks – After deciding to market hammocks for kids, this dangerous toy was recalled after 12 children died. Hammocks that did not include spreader bars to keep the hammock open, it would become twisted and a high risk for strangulation every time the child tried to escape.
8. Lawn Darts – It’s not difficult to see why this toy was recalled. Designed to be a game similar to horseshoes, it didn’t take long for children to find a different way to play the game. Three children died before the game was banned.
9. The Austin Magic Pistol – Similar to a BB gun today, this gun used gas-powered combustion. It also used “magic crystals” made from calcium carbide – a hazardous material, which would explode when mixed with water to fire a plastic ball.
10. Gilbert U-238 Atomic Energy Lab – Sold in the early 1950’s, this educational set contained uranium. It was marketed as an elaborate Atomic Energy set that featured four Uranium bearing ore samples and a preformatted order form for more.
Although these toys have been recalled, they are still out there. Even when not sold in stores, they may be hidden in attics or packed away in boxes. It’s important that all parents are aware of the dangers of these toys and similar toys.
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