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W.A.T.C.H. Report for Toys to Avoid This Summer

June 23, 2021 by Alexa Hornbeck
In this Thursday, May 28, 2020, photo Gwen Partlow and her sons, Cameron, 5, and Casey, 2, fly a kite on the beach in Cannon Beach, Ore. (AP Photo/Gillian Flaccus)

This week marked the official beginning of summer, and in preparation, the World Against Toys Causing Harm, known as W.A.T.C.H., produced a Summer Safety Report for parents and caregivers to navigate summer heat safety for children whose injuries typically double during the summer months.

“We want parents and caregivers to be familiar with heightened safety considerations that may have surfaced with this year’s ‘new normal,” cautioned James Swartz, Director of W.A.T.C.H.


The pandemic sparked an increase in sales for home-based exercise equipment, recreational products with wheels, and backyard water activities, and W.A.T.C.H. says there has been an increase in injuries relating to the increase in popularity.

For example, during the pandemic, Peloton, a company that makes treadmills, more than quadrupled in value, but it came at a price. After at least 39 incidents and the death of a 6-year-old boy, Peloton recently recalled 125,000 Tread+ Treadmills.

Sales of toys with wheels, like skates, skateboards, and scooters, grew more than 31% during 2020, and W.A.T.C.H. reminds parents and caregivers of the importance of wearing a helmet.

Already in 2021, there have been seven recalls in the U.S. of ATV, ROV and Off-Road vehicles, totaling 79,826 vehicles that may be in use or families’ garages. Some of the ATVs recalled were sold for use by children as young as 6 years old.

The pandemic also led to surges in social media usage among 15 to 25-year-old users and a 63% jump during quarantine. W.A.T.C.H. warns against things like TikTok’s “fake piercing challenge,” where users pretend to have tongue or cheek piercings using magnetic balls, as people can accidentally swallow them.

Hospitals have also reported a rise in injuries related to trampolines and warn to beware of drowning in shallow water by removing barriers like pool floats which may block a parent or caregiver’s view of their child.

“Do not be lulled into a false sense of security that a toy or activity is safe simply because it is popular,” Swartz said.

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