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Advocacy group releases Worst Toys list of 2019

The World Against Toys Causing Harm, an advocacy group dedicated to promoting safety consciousness for toy manufacturers and consumers alike, has listed its Worst Toys for 2019. The organization, referred to as WATCH, has been releasing its annual list for decades now, and Texans will want to take note.

It lists some usual suspects. For instance, it included a toy caterpillar that is marketed as a pull toy, and, thus, is allowed to use a string that is up to two feet long. Unfortunately, two feet is more than enough to present a strangulation hazard. Other toys that posed a choking threat also made the list, as some of these toys did not even come with warnings about the risk.

Other toys on the list included a reincarnation of the pogo stick and the more recent pogo ball. WATCH found this toy problematic because of misleading packaging, which sent mixed signals about whether wearing helmets protective gear when doing jumping tricks on the toy was really necessary. Of course, not wearing a helmet could cause a traumatic brain injury.

Toy weapons also did not fare well on WATCH's list. Aside from the possibility of eye injuries, some of these toy weapons also posed a chocking hazard. WATCH also sharply criticized one very realistic water gun on account of the fact that it looked too much like a real gun. Over the years, there have been stories of children being shot by police after playing with a plastic gun.

As is the case with any product on the market, toy manufacturers have an obligation only to put safe toys out in the marketplace. For those unavoidable hazards toys can present, a manufacturer at least must make sure that consumer, especially parents, are adequately warned about hazards. If they fail to do so, victims may be able to seek compensation by filing a products liability case.

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