Every year, parents start purchasing holiday toys in December in droves — for Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa and more. Though most parents strive to purchase the gifts their kids are asking for, that shouldn’t mean blindly buying toys without doing your research. After all, there are tons of toys that aren’t actually great for kids — and some that are downright dangerous.
And now that most of our holiday shopping is getting done online, parents aren’t able to vet toys in person. This leaves the door open for potentially purchasing from shady sellers or overlooking age restrictions. Luckily, the US PIRG (Public Interest Research Group) has made a handy list of toys that parents (and all gift-givers) should avoid buying for kids this year.
Including choking hazards and other recalled toys, the gifts on this list have proven to have a dangerous side. The US PIRG’s investigation has led the organization to determine that loud toys, slime, fidget spinners, “hatching” toys, balloons, smart toys and devices, makeup, and magnets all have their hazards. Here’s why.
Of the list, the US PIRG writes on its site that “annual investigations into dangerous toys has uncovered high levels of lead and other toxics, choking hazards, loud noises that cause hearing damage, and smart toys that could reveal private information. But a careful shopper can help avoid some of these risks, keeping the children in their life safer.”
According to research published by The Toy Association, “71% of parents have doubts that grandparents/great aunts or uncles know how to truly ensure that the gifts they purchase online are coming from verified sellers.”
So this year you may want to ignore requests for a Star Wars Mandalorian Darksaber or the Black Panther Vibranium Claws, which the World Against Toys Causing Harm, Inc. (W.A.T.C.H.) listed as nominees for the “10 Worst Toys of 2020.”
Of course, these are just recommendations; as always, we encourage parents to make the holiday shopping choices that are right for their family.
Before you go, check out our gallery on ethical toy brands we love.