It can take quite a bit of effort to keep the kids busy during the summer months, but parents sure do try, using everything from water balloons and related firing contraptions to all-terrain vehicles and similar forms of recreation. Some toys and playthings kids use to pass time are not as safe as consumers may like to think, however, and in some cases, they can even prove deadly. In fact, USA Today reports that about 2.5 million kids seek treatment for injuries every summer, many of which stem from the use of unsafe toys and other sources of recreation.
Periodically, a watchdog organization that works to promote safety in the toy industry releases a list of what it considers the most dangerous toys, products and recreational activities posing a threat to today’s youngsters. Here are some highlights from this summer’s lineup of dangerous toys.
Summer’s most dangerous toys
Topping the list of this summer’s most dangerous toys are water balloon slingshots, which are facing increasing scrutiny as reports arise of them causing serious eye injuries among children. Balloons and balloon strings also inherently pose choking and strangulation hazards, and particularly among younger children. In one recent two-year period, at least five kids died because of accidents involving balloons.
High-powered water guns pose similar threats, and some models dispel water with such force that they can even cause blindness. Bounce houses are also common sources of child injury, with neck injuries, spinal cord injuries and other gravely serious injuries linked to their usage. Low-riding vehicles pose a threat to children, both because they have the potential to flip under certain circumstances, and because they are low to the ground, which can make it difficult for motorists in regular passenger vehicles to see them.
Toy companies have an ethical obligation to produce safe products, but regrettably, this list offers proof that this is not always the case.