Little has changed since I ran a blog some months ago, on dangerous toys. They are still out there, still for sale, and still marketed to the children most likely to be harmed by them. A number of consumer and advocacy groups put out lists of the year’s most dangerous toys. The list by W.A.T.C.H. (world against toys causing harm), of the most dangerous toys of 2006, illustrates the kinds of preventable hazards manufacturers continue to build into children’s toys. One almost laughably dangerous toy, is the Turber Balloon Launcher. The device launches water balloons up to 100 feet; the manufacturer brags, with “direct-hit accuracy.” This single product contains two elements frequently associated with toy injuries: a powerful projectile, and a part (balloons) known to present a choking risk. The Pottery Barn’s “Pyramid Stacker,” marketed for toddlers as young as 12 months, presents a sharp, pointed pyramid top on which a toddler could impale himself. Toys with small parts that can be pulled off the toy and choked on, and strings long enough to strangle a child, continue to be sold, despite the long history of child death cases from such toys. With the global economy, toys are manufactured all over the world in staggering numbers. Constant vigilance by parents and government safety agencies alike are necessary to minimize the number of tragedies due to toy hazards.
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