Source: toysafety.org

In the insurance industry, our main concern is the mitigation of risk—getting rid of and reducing "mayhem". This is one of those things that crops up every year around Christmas because it's the time of year when toy-buying is highest. I can remember being a kid playing on the living room floor with a jump rope and I remember wrapping it around my neck to play like I was wearing it as a kind of necklace when my mom suddenly urged me to take it off because I could strangle myself. This was in the eighties just before the time of the Cabbage Patch Kid doll that would eat little-girls' hair.

Dangerous toys have always been around and these are no different. I'm especially surprised by the Wonder Woman sword since this is basically a plastic version of the wooden sword that most boys played with when they were little. I would argue a wooden sword to be far more dangerous; especially when swinging it around inside the house. And let's not forget about BB guns.

In my opinion, toys are a great thing for kids; definitely more so than iPhone apps and tablet games. Toys teach kids how to role-play in social conventions and to play with them, how to be creative and use their imagination, and that everything is temporary when toys break.

All that said, here's a list of the most dangerous toys according to W.A.T.C.H. (World Against Toys Causing Harm).

Brianna Babydoll

10. Brianna Babydoll

Manufacturer or Distributor: Melissa & Doug
Retailer(s): Target.com; Toysrus.com
Age Recommendation: “Ages 18 Months+”
Warnings: None
Hazard: Potential for choking injuries.
These “huggable, soft” dolls, marketed for babies as young as 18 months old, have “removable clothing.” The pink ponytail holders are also removable, presenting the potential for ingesting and choking.


Jetts Heels Wheels

9. Jetts Heel Wheels

Manufacturer or Distributor: Razor USA LLC
Retailer(s): Kmart; Toys R Us; Walmart.com; Kohls.com; Target.com
Age Recommendation: “8+”
Warnings: "Using Heel Wheels can be a dangerous activity and may result in injury or death. Use at your own risk;" and numerous other warnings on package/package insert.
Hazard: Potential for blunt impact and fire-related burn injuries.
“Heel Wheels” are marketed to be strapped to heels of children’s shoes so footwear can be transformed into a type of rear-wheel roller skate. The manufacturer adds “real sparking” action to the “Jetts” with “skid pads”, as evidenced by numerous warnings, including: “Keep sparks away from eyes, hair, exposed skin and clothing. Sparks can burn.”


Oval Xylophone

8. Oval Xylophone

Manufacturer or Distributor: Plan Toys, Inc., Plan Creations Co., LTD.
Retailer(s): Target.com; Toysrus.com; Walmart.com; Magic Beans
Age Recommendation: “12m+”
Warnings: None
Hazard: Potential for ingestion and choking injuries.
This multi-colored musical instrument is sold for babies as young as 12 months old. The manufacturer provides no warnings regarding the slender, rigid approximately 9 ½” long drumstick handle, which has the potential to be mouthed and occlude a child’s airway.


Slackers Slackline classic series kit

7. Slackers Slackline Classic Series Kit

Manufacturer or Distributor: Brand 44
Retailer(s): Amazon.com; Dickssportinggoods.com; L.L. Bean; Homdepot.com; Magic Beans
Age Recommendation: “Ages 5+” (package); “Safe for all ages” (package insert)
Warnings: “WARNING: strangulation hazard”; “CAUTION: Remember a Slackline can be a potentially dangerous piece of equipment and can cause serious injury or even death”, and other warnings/cautions
Hazard: Potential for strangulation and fall-related injuries. 
This Slackline is marketed for “all ages” pursuant to a package insert, providing a tightrope-like device intended to be anchored between two trees. The manufacturer warns of the potential for “severe injury”, including “a strangulation hazard, especially with children.”


NERF Zombie Strike Deadbolt Crossbow

6. NERF Zombie Strike Deadbolt Crossbow

Manufacturer or Distributor: Hasbro; Nerf.com
Retailer(s): Kmart; Toysrus.com; Target.com; Walmart.com
Age Recommendation: “Age 8+” Warnings: “Do not aim or shoot at eyes or face of people or animals”, and other cautions/warnings on product, package, and package insert. 
Hazard: Potential for eye injuries.
Children as young as 8-years-old are encouraged to load “arrows” into the “deadbolt” crossbow, pull back the “primary pressurized lever” and fire the projectiles in order to “strike back” at “zombies.” The force of the arrow launch presents the potential for eye and facial injuries.


Spider-man Spider-drone official

5. Spider-man Spider-drone Official Movie Addition

Manufacturer or Distributor: Marvel; Skyrocket Toys LLC
Retailer(s): Target; Best Buy; Toysrus.com; Walmart.com
Age Recommendation: “Ages 12+”
Warnings: “Drone has rotating blades that move at high speed, posing danger of injury; “Keep spinning rotors away from fingers, hair, eyes, and other body parts”; and other cautions/warnings on package/package insert.
Hazard: Potential for eye and body impact injuries. 
This “official movie edition” remote-control drone, based on the well-known Spiderman Superhero franchise, is sold for use by children. The “performance drone”, designed to launch into the air powered by multiple rotating rotor blades is accompanied by numerous warnings, including the potential for “damage or injury.”


Fidget spinners

4. Hand Fidgetz Spinners

Manufacturer or Distributor: Kipp Brothers Retailer(s): Walmart; Kippbrothers.com; Bulktoystore.com
Age Recommendation: None
Warnings: “WARNING: This product is a novelty gift item. It is not intended to be used as a toy."
Hazard: Potential for choking injuries.
Fidget Spinners, like these bright-colored versions, can be found in retail toy aisles. These spinners remain popular with children of all ages, and some present potential small parts hazards.


Wonder Woman battle-action sword

3. Wonder Woman Battle-Action Sword

Manufacturer or Distributor: Mattel
Retailer(s): Target; Toysrus.com; Walmart.com 
Age Recommendation: “6+”
Warnings: “WARNING: small parts may be generated” and  battery safety warnings
Hazard: Potential for blunt force injuries.
Young children are encouraged to bear arms, like a popular comic book and movie character, to engage in “fighting alongside men in a war to end all wars.…” The rigid plastic sword blade has the potential to cause facial or other impact injuries.


Pull-along pony

2. Pull Along Pony

Manufacturer or Distributor: Tolo Toys Limited Retailer(s):  Magic Beans; Amazon.com; Bonanza.com
Age Recommendation: “12m+”
Warnings:  None
Despite the industry’s standard requiring strings on playpen and crib toys to be less than 12 inches in length, manufacturers are still permitted to market “pull toys” such as the “Pull Along Pony” with a cord measuring approximately 19 inches. No warnings are provided. 


Hallmark's Itty Bitty stacking toy

1. Hallmark’s “Itty Bittys” Baby Stacking Toy

Manufacturer or Distributor: Hallmark Marketing Company, LLC Retailer(s): eBay.com Age Recommendation: None Warnings:  None
Hazard: Potential for choking injuries.
This plush Disney-themed stacking toy with four rattling rings is sold without age recommendations or warnings. The Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a recall notice on August 31, 2017 due to “fabric hats and bows that can detach, posing a choking hazard.” A Hallmark “Itty Bittys” Baby Stacking Toy was purchased online after the recall was announced.