I am all for safe toys but I am constantly irritated by N.G.O.’s that are so interested in making noise and news that they go to the absurd in making their point. Case in point is a recent report by W.A.T.C.H. entitled: Summer Safety Report for 2016.
W.A.T.C.H. stands for World Against Toys Causing Harm. As inflated as their name is their report is even more so. Here is a list of the kinds of toys they deem dangerous:
- Toy Guns with Projectile Ammunition
- Airborne Toys (Toy helicopters and boomerangs)
- Hover Boards
- Shallow Backyard Water (baby pools and garden buckets)
- Flotation Devices (water wings and floats)
- Pool Covers
- Bounce Houses and Trampolines
- Non-Motorized Scooters
- Draw Strings and Bicycle Helmet Straps
- Toys with Small Parts
As you may observe, Hover Boards, garden buckets, pool covers, draw strings and bicycle helmet straps are not toys. What you may also observe is that by doing away with these outdoor toys there is little left with which to play.
CBS News published an article about the report by Mary Brophy Marcuson entitled “10 dangerous toys and recreation hazards for kids to avoid this summer”. After reading the article, I had to smile when I read a comment in response to the report by someone named LIONHEAD17 (its hard to believe but there are at least 16 other LIONHEADS) puts it: “After reading this, I'm going to place my kid in a large empty field with no toys and tell him to try and have fun.”
I would love to see a reasonable report on toy safety that makes practical recommendations that can be reasonably followed without frightening parents and as a result a generation of kids that do not know how have fun or assess risk.
Let’s be safe out there…but let’s not forget to play.