Choose Toys Wisely

December 3, 2014


One of the WATCH group's "10 Worst Toys of 2014."

Despite warnings on the box that children should wear

helmets, the child on the box doesn't wear one.

by Dr. Joseph Kahn

Mercy Kids president, pediatrician with more than 25 years experience

I can’t believe it’s already December again. For those who haven’t already started shopping or still have some shopping to do, I have some advice – make sure the toys you get for your kiddos this holiday season aren’t going to land them in the hospital.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission reported that in 2012 alone, there were 11 toy-related deaths of children under 15 years old, and an estimated 265,000 toy-related injuries treated in U.S. hospital emergency rooms. In my opinion, even one injury is too many when they are preventable.

The toy industry wants to make their products as appealing as possible, even if they contradict the toy’s own warnings and instructions. As one example, kids should wear helmets while on any riding toys but packaging doesn’t always show kids wearing helmets.

You can’t assume toys are safe. According to the watchdog group World Against Toys Causing Harm, Inc. (W.A.T.C.H.), many consumers are under the impression that heightened public attention to toy safety, increased government regulations and screening by big name manufacturers and retailers have eliminated hazards from toy store shelves—but this is not the case.

The group recently released its nominees for the “10 Worst Toys of 2014” to help parents during the holiday season, but keep this link handy all year round to help protect your little ones. Maybe even pass it along to grandparents – we sometimes need a little help! 

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