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Worst Toys of 2008 – Will 2009 Be Any Better?

The year 2000 was the year of several dangerous toy recalls, many of which were the focus of product liability lawsuits around the country.This list of the 10 most dangerous toys of 2008 includes toys that pose hazards of choking and aspiration, lead contaminated toys as well as those that are prone to fire and burn hazards.

It isn’t clear if the list is in any particular order of danger or number of injuries caused, but it kicks off with Air Hogs RC Helicopters that came with the danger of exploding lithium-powered batteries.Many of the toy related scares of 2008 – and there were plenty of them – were linked to children being able to remove the detachable magnets from toys, and swallow these. Several dozen children were rushed to emergency rooms with perforated intestines, after swallowing magnets that later began to stick to each other through intestinal walls. Most of these injuries required surgery.The toys that came with magnets attached included earrings that contained a small magnet inside, and these make it to the list too. Other noteworthy defective playthings include backpacks containing off-the-chart levels of lead contamination, balloon sets, Dora the Explorer Lamps (which are actually electrical items and not really play things, but try explaining that to kids who see their favorite Dora on the lamp, and want to play with her), and high decibel High School Musical Rockerz.

Also on the list are children’s toys containing phthalates, a chemical compound that is often mixed with plastic to make it softer. These have been found connected to reproductive problems in male children, including a drop in testosterone levels, as well as genital abnormalities.Linking phthalates to these disorders has been the easy part – the challenge lies in finding out what products contain these chemicals, present as they are in a variety of consumer products, from air fresheners to teething rings.Phthalates are never mentioned in the list of ingredients, which means that most of us who use these cosmetics, perfumes, cleaners, and toys risk being exposed to them every day.Expect to hear more reports of injuries and illnesses associated with phthalates use in toys in 2009.

We hardly expect the toys our children play with to explode during play, or damage their hearing with the kind of high decibel sounds they come with.Yet these very basic safety principles seem to fall by the wayside time and again when it comes to introducing a new toy in the market.Often, it falls on Atlanta toy injury lawyers to take up the cause of holding manufacturers responsible for their negligence in introducing these dangerous toys.