15 Dangerous Children’s Toys Most Parents Overlook

15 Dangerous Children’s Toys Most Parents Overlook

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Many of the most dangerous toys on the shelf for kids are items you might already have in your home. These toys are common, and many parents don’t know they pose risks to children. As you read this list, you’ll likely be surprised by the number of popular toys on it.

Many toys have hidden dangers that people don’t consider when purchasing gifts. Not all of these toys are unsafe, but if not used properly, they can threaten your child’s well-being. Understanding the risks can help you choose safer toys or let you know to monitor closely when your child uses the ones on this list.

With this being the case, you must learn about dangerous toys to prevent accidents. You can either avoid the toys entirely or monitor their use closely to ensure precautions are in place.

Common Injuries from Dangerous Toys

Investigating toys before purchasing them can help you avoid the dangerous ones. Research shows that over 200,000 kids get injured by toys each year, making it a big problem. When the unthinkable happens, it shows that some gifts bring more harm than good.

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Some of the common body areas for injuries to happen include:

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  • Head, neck, or face
  • Shoulder, arm, or elbow
  • Hand, wrist, or finger
  • Knee or leg
  • Foot, toe, or ankle
  • Pubic region or trunk

Recalled Dangerous Toys for Children

There will often be a recall later when faulty or dangerous toys make it to store shelves. However, having a toy recalled doesn’t save the kids from harm that have already encountered issues. Plus, some families may not hear about a recall and continue using the product.

It would be best if toys were safe before reaching stores, but it doesn’t always happen. Some dangerous toys will never even have a recall because they are supposed to be the way that they are.

Dangerous Toys Most Parents Overlook

Protecting your child is your most meaningful job, and seemingly safe items can pose a risk. Knowing which toys to watch out for can prevent accidents and keep your child safe and healthy.

1. Smart Toys

Smart toys introduce privacy issues for our kids. Toys with cameras and recording capabilities that use unsecured mobile apps can store data. Personalized online accounts also store data about the user.

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Bills have been introduced to the House of Representatives addressing children’s online safety. Some discussions around the bills include offering protection to kids and educating adults.

2. Flying Toys or Toys with Working Propellers

Any flying toy or toy with a working propeller can cause injury. These toys can cause eye injuries, broken teeth, lacerations, and concussions.

3. Slingshots Can Harm Children

Slingshots are a classic toy, but that doesn’t mean it’s safe. Many slingshots have gotten recalled after receiving reports of causing blindness and broken teeth. The slingshots that come with water balloons can also cause injury, so it might be best to avoid them.

4. Trampolines

Research shows that nearly 90,000 people each year go to the hospital for injuries incurred on a trampoline. Some experts say to avoid using them altogether because falls, collisions, and improper landings can cause:

  • concussions
  • broken pones
  • paralysis
  • death

5. Toys Containing Chemicals

Some plastic toys and slime contain chemicals that are harmful to kids. When kids put their mouths on these toys, it can cause them to ingest materials they shouldn’t.

Plus, kids seem to love slime, but it isn’t always safe. Some slime contains chemicals, making it dangerous if ingested. You can tell your child not to put it in their mouth, but that doesn’t always work well.

6. Toys with Small Magnets or Batteries

Small magnets and batteries are some of the most dangerous things your child can come into contact with. The magnets used in small toys can come loose, allowing your child to get ahold of it. If they swallow more than one, it can cause fatal internal issues.

Magnets can attach to the intestines and make holes that require surgery. Ingesting magnets can also cause gastrointestinal damage and infection.

Batteries are dangerous because the chemicals break down in the esophagus and stomach. When this happens, it causes internal chemical burns that create holes.

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Even products that aren’t intended for kids are unsafe if they contain small magnets or batteries. These items are fun, and kids are drawn to them. Don’t leave anything around that could allow your child to get ahold of these unsafe pieces.

7. (Super Dangerous) Toy Guns

Kids often love toy guns, but they’re not a safe option. They present choking and eye injury dangers, among other issues.

Besides the physical dangers of the toy’s mechanics, past tragedies have occurred when law enforcement officers mistook a realistic-looking toy gun for a live firearm.

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8. Bath Toys

Bath toys are dangerous because the water gets trapped inside and can grow harmful bacteria. Many parents assume it’ll be fine to squeeze the water out and regularly wash the toys. However, you can’t see the bacteria, and you can’t clean them out enough.

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The bacteria in bath toys can cause cellulitis, a bacterial skin infection. This infection causes swollen, red, and painful skin that is sometimes warm to the touch. Cellulitis can spread, and if it makes its way to the child’s eyes, it can cause blindness.

9. Noisy Toys

You might think noisy toys are only annoying, but you might not realize that they are also unsafe. They can irreversibly harm your child’s hearing.

10. Toys with Small Parts

Any toy that comes with small parts is unsafe for children. Some toys that manufacturers market for toddlers come with small parts a child can choke on. You also must watch for any small pieces attached to the toy because they can come loose when you least expect it to happen.

11. Fidget Toys

Some fidget toys, such as fidget spinners, can become a choking hazard if it comes apart. They have small pieces inside that can harm kids, especially under three.

12. Plastic Blocks

Small plastic blocks can pose a choking risk if a child puts them in their mouth. They are marketed for older kids, but it’s easy for toddlers to get ahold of them.

13. Play Swords and Knives

These toys are dangerous because they can cause blunt force and eye damage. Kids aren’t always aware of how to use these toys safely during play. It can result in accidental injuries causing damage.

14. Toys with Wheels

Outdoor toys with wheels are becoming increasingly popular, but they pose risks. These toys include:

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  • Skates
  • Roller blades
  • Skateboards
  • Scooters
  • Hoverboards

These toys can cause head and impact injuries. If they are close to the ground, they are difficult for drivers to see. Since drivers can see them well, it can result in vehicle accidents if used near roads or driveways.

Many toys with wheels aren’t used with protective gear, making it even more dangerous. They don’t always come with instructions or warnings, making it hard to grasp the danger.

Unpowered scooters are a surprisingly dangerous toy, too. You might think they’re okay because the child can control their speed easier, but they account for almost one-third of toy-related injuries.

15. Drum Sticks

Parents love for their children to play with musical instruments, but it’s not always safe. Drum sticks can pose a choking hazard and injure a child’s mouth or throat. The long sticks can go too far into a child’s mouth, or your child can fall with them in their mouth.

How to Buy Safe Toys for Children

Many popular toys are unsafe for kids, and you might not know where to start when buying things for your kids. There isn’t a fool-proof way to identify potential dangers, and the best thing you can do is remain vigilant.

Examine toys before purchasing them to look for hidden hazards and red flags. After buying the item, regularly examine it for anything you might have missed. Something could have come loose, or you may have overlooked a hidden hazard.

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Buying second-hand or receiving hand-me-down toys has other risks you must account for. If you buy used toys online, you don’t have a chance to touch and inspect the toy and its packaging before purchasing.

Receiving a second-hand item also means you might not receive safety information from packaging or inserts. Sometimes recalled toys make it back into circulation this way, too. You must be vigilant about researching model or product numbers to ensure that’s not the case for you.

How You Can Prevent Injuries from Dangerous Toys

While avoiding dangerous toys sounds ideal, you also don’t want to shelter your child. Things like riding bikes and scooters offer many benefits when used safely. If you decide to let your child use any of the toys on this list, prevent injuries by doing the following:

  • Buy helmets for your child to wear while using bikes, scooters, hoverboards, roller skates, and other toys with wheels.
  • Know common issues to look for.
  • Inspect new toys for defects and design flaws.
  • Regularly inspect old toys for loose parts, broken pieces, or sharp edges.
  • Don’t assume specific brands are always safe.
  • Follow age recommendations and warnings.
  • Ensure toys get assembled correctly.
  • Check ingredient labels on toys for kids who put things in their mouths.

What to do if Your Child Is Injured by One of These Dangerous Toys

Your child might get ahold of some dangerous toys without you knowing it. Even when you try your best to avoid them, it’s not uncommon to miss something. Seek medical care immediately if your child gets injured by a toy.

Even if you’re unsure of the severity of the situation, you don’t want to wait long to find out. Immediately getting help is better than waiting it out and worsening the injury.

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You might want to consider filing a lawsuit to aid in paying the medical bills associated with the injury. Holding someone accountable can encourage manufacturers to produce better designed, manufactured, and marketed items. Many injuries are preventable with pre-market testing and stricter manufacturing practices.

Final Thoughts on Dangerous Toys Most Parents Overlook

Learning and sharing safety information about toys can prevent injuries and save lives. When you know the dangerous toys commonly associated with injury, you can be proactive in keeping your child safe. You can also make better-informed decisions when shopping for toys.

While there are many dangerous toys, you can find plenty of safe ones. Don’t lose hope or assume your only options are potentially unsafe ones. Be selective and research the toys so your child can safely enjoy them.

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Sarah Barkley is a lifestyle blogger and freelance writer with a Bachelor's Degree in Literature from Baker College. She is experienced in all things related to parenting, marriage, and life as a millennial parent, but loves to learn new things. She enjoys the research that goes into a strong article, and no topic is off-limits to Sarah. When she isn't writing, she is immersed in a book or watching Gilmore Girls. Sarah loves reading classic novels but also enjoys a good thriller.

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