The nominees for W.A.T.C.H.’s “10 Worst Toy” list are an important means for keeping the public abreast of the dangers found on toy store shelves every year. Since 1973, the annual “10 Worst Toy” list has identified toys with the potential to cause childhood injuries and death. Dangerous toys continue to abound in toy boxes and on store shelves. The alarming number of toy recalls and the lack of pre-market testing and regulations in the toy industry are evidence of the need for continued vigilance for the safety of children. Dangerous toys should be screened out before being made available to consumers. The list exposes examples of hazards found in various toys currently sold despite efforts year after year to educate and inform the industry. The toys on the list are illustrative of some of the hazards in toys being sold to consumers and should not be considered as the only hazardous toys on the market.
The annual “Toy Conference” has generated extensive national press and media coverage. W.A.T.C.H.’s efforts in protecting children has been chronicled by many national media outlets including Larry King Live, Dateline, Good Morning America, The Today Show, 60 Minutes and CNN News. The positive responses from the media and the public have resulted in numerous toy and product design changes and children’s lives have been saved. The “10 Worst Toys” list is one of the ways W.A.T.C.H. continues to fight to protect children from unsafe toys. Protecting our children, however, will take more than a list of illustrative harmful toys. Safety for our children will only occur when preventing injuries caused by unsafe toys becomes a number one priority for the toy industry and government regulatory agencies.
“In one year alone, 1,646,000 units of hazardous toys, many already in the hands of consumers, were recalled.”