Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The 10 Deadliest Toys of All Time

When you think of scary toys, dolls like Chucky or weapons like your older brother's fake throwing stars probably come to mind. But there were likely much more dangerous play things in your toy chest. Sure, you probably got a few battle scars from stepping on Legos or tripping over some roller skates, but there are a few toys that have been known to kill (or at least seriously injure). Here are 10 of the deadliest toys every made.

  1. Wego Kite Tubes

    The makers behind Wego Kite Tubes probably thought they had a real winner on their hands. What's more fun and exciting than being pulled behind a speeding boat and then taking flight? But this 10-foot-wide inflatable tube that becomes airborne when you pull the handles seems to have been even more dangerous than it sounds. The product warns to "never kite higher than you are willing to fall," but users apparently didn't know that the fall could end up propelling them into the water at 50 mph as the tube unexpectedly nose dives. At least two people died using the tube and many more have broken their necks or backs, and punctured lungs from the impact. The kite tubes have since been recalled.

  2. EZ Sales Mini Hammocks

    Even to uncoordinated adults, hammocks can be trouble. There's always the chance that the pesky thing will swing out from under you as you're trying to rest your rump. But combining the clumsiness of kids and a poorly built hammock is a recipe for disaster. The EZ Sales Mini Hammock was designed to be relaxing for children who just need a break from their hectic lives, but ended up strangling 12 children and injuring others as they got tangled in the hammock while trying to get out. The company neglected to put a spreader bar on the ends that would keep the hammock from closing on the user like a Venus fly trap. The hammock was recalled in 1996 -- 11 years after it was first sold.

  3. Magnetix Magnetic Building Sets

    Even if a toy's not made to be eaten, there's a good chance it will end up in a child's stomach at some point. Just ask any X-ray technician. But most toys won't cause death once they're there. Magnetix Magnetic Building Sets include small magnetic balls and cylinders that you can use to build cool structures, but if they are swallowed, the magnets cause all kinds of problems. They can stick together in the intestines and cause a blockage, or cause holes in the intestines when they are drawn together. At least one child died from Magnetix, another punctured his lung after inhaling pieces of the toy, and several others were injured.

  4. Lawn darts

    Lawn darts are some of those toys that you can't believe were actually produced and marketed for children, but people liked to live on the edge in the '70s and '80s. The large, sharp darts that you were supposed to aim at a ring on the ground were weighted on the pointy end, making them nice weapons to use on the neighborhood kids. More than 6,500 people reported lawn dart injuries before they were recalled and made illegal in 1988. There were at least four deaths. One person, a 7-year-old girl, was killed when she was hit in the skull by a neighbor's stray yard dart.

  5. Aqua Dots

    When parents bought their children the Aqua Dots bead sets, they probably thought they were giving the kids a nice, safe craft project to do. There can't be any danger in small beads that you put together to make nice designs, right? Even when kids accidentally swallowed the beads (or put them in their mouths thinking they might be candy), there didn't seem to be any risk of choking. Instead, these kids ended up unconscious for a couple of hours. One child even had to be hospitalized for almost a week. When ingested, a chemical in the beads apparently turns into gamma hydroxybutyrate, also known GHB or the date rape drug. You better believe this product was recalled when the makers figured it out.

  6. Gilbert U-238 Atomic Energy Lab

    Though it was only sold for one year, from 1951 to 1952, the Gilbert U-238 Atomic Energy Lab has rightfully earned its place among the most dangerous toys ever made. The science kit came with four kinds of uranium ore, a radioactive substance used for nuclear energy. It also included a Geiger counter, an electroscope, and a comic book, Dagwood Splits the Atom. The set wasn't recalled; instead, its short life is thought to be a consequence of its high price of $50. There are no known injuries or deaths from the Atomic Energy Lab, but there's no doubt if it had continued to be sold, there would eventually be dozens of cases of radiation poisoning.

  7. Creepy Crawlers

    This toy was revived in the early '90s with much safer results, but in the '60s, it was dangerous fun. Creepy Crawlers was basically a hot plate with molds that you poured goo into. When it was done, you had plastic bugs to hide around the house. And even though you were supposed to wait seven or more minutes and then use tongs to touch the mold, little boys can't be relied upon to be patient and follow directions. Lots of burns and blisters came about from these popular play things. But worse than burning little kids, Creepy Crawlers' fumes were potentially toxic since people didn't know too much back then about melted PVC or lead paint, which were probably components of the toy.

  8. Yo-Yo Ball

    The Yo-Yo Ball is the lazy kid's alternative to the yo-yo. It's just a squishy ball, sometimes filled with water, attached to an elastic string, so there's no talent needed to make it come back to you. You apparently do need talent, however, to keep it from strangling you. Hundreds of parents have reported that their children have nearly been killed when the cord got tangled around their necks. The accidents may happen when children swing the ball over their head like a lasso, which is clearly the most fun way to use it. This toy is banned in France, Canada, and the United Kingdom, but authorities in the U.S. said the risk is low so they wouldn't recall it.

  9. BB guns

    Besides the risk of shooting your eye out, BB guns, like the Red Ryder made by Daisy, have been known to cause lots of other injuries and death. Though the ones marketed just to children during most of the 20th century were only powerful enough to cause minor injuries, gun manufacturers began making more powerful air guns for adults in the '70s. Since then, the distinction between adult BB guns and toy ones has been hard for the average person to see. Many toy stores and department stores still carry BB guns, and children are using BB guns that have proven to be powerful enough to kill children. Remember: BB guns don't shoot eyes out, little kids who don't know how to use BB guns do.

  10. Fire Footbag

    The traditional hacky sack may be for laid-back hippie types, but this footbag is not for the weak of heart. This hacky sack is made out of Kevlar, soaked in kerosene, and then lit on fire before you play with it. Though the makers of the Fire Footbag only claim shoelaces as casualties so far, it's only a matter of time before someone meets an unfortunate end because of this hacky sack. It's only banned in Australia for now, so this toy's still available for those brave or stupid enough to buy it.

Taken From Online Degree

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