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Watch out for dangerous toys on Illinois store shelves

The holiday season is upon us. The kids have written their letters to Santa, and parents are frantically searching the nation's toy stores for this year's must-have items. However, some toys on store shelves are dangerous and could harm innocent consumers.

The organization, World Against Toys Causing Harm, Inc., has released a list of the 10 worst toys to buy this holiday season, in hopes of bringing attention to toys that are inherently dangerous. Some of these toys are pretend weapons and other toys launch projectiles that could hit another person.

The dangers of other toys are not so obvious, however. For example, a large stuffed elephant was identified as dangerous because of the potential to suffocate an infant. Another toy, a puppy, had a leash so long that a child could strangle him or herself on it.

Unfortunately, according to the group, unsafe toys are still being placed on store shelves, despite poor design, mistakes made in manufacturing or unsafe marketing practices. Many of these toys have the potential not just to injure, but also to kill innocent children.

For example, one toy, the "Banzi Bump N'Bounce Body Bumpers," contains a warning that children should wear helmets and other protective equipment when using the toy. But, the box itself shows children using the toys without protective equipment.

Another example is the "Warcraft Doomhammer." This toy, which is a heavy, rigid plastic hammer, has no warnings that it could cause significant impact injuries.

While some might be quick to dismiss these dangers, saying any toy has the potential to be harmful, in the end every year, dangerous children's toys are placed on store shelves, are purchased and then go on to injure or kill children. When this happens, parents may wonder if they have any options.

One way to hold companies that design, manufacture and sell defective products accountable is through a product liability lawsuit. Such lawsuits may not only allow injured consumers to seek compensation, but also could ensure such unsafe products do not cause further harm.

Source: FOX, "'Warcraft' hammer, slingshot on annual most dangerous toys list," Nov. 15, 2016

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