Are these toys really that dangerous or have we just gotten into such a litigious state in America that no toy is safe unless you leave it in the original box and place it out of the reach of children?

An organization that goes by the acronym WATCH,  World Against Toys Causing Harm, has come out with their list of 10 toys they feel are dangerous or unsafe for children. As I read the list I was overcome not with a sense of fear but with a sense of nostalgia.

Among the toys making the list were Lawn Darts. God as my witness I thought those had been outlawed decades ago. The list also included Water Baloon Slingshots, water guns, bounce houses, and even the iconic Big Wheel among others.

I respectfully disagree with this saber-rattling from the WATCH people. These toys are just as safe as any other toy when used according to direction. I agree if you throw a Lawn Dart at someone's head, it will hurt. If you drive a Big Wheel out in front of a dump truck it will hurt. If you shoot your Mom with a water gun right after she's returned from the beauty shop, you will get hurt there too.

Everything is dangerous if you don't use it correctly. People choke on ballpoint pen caps, folks stab themselves with toothbrushes, and you can get carpal tunnel from typing on a smartphone too. Based on recent events and using the mindset of WATCH we'd have to celebrities from having belts because of the suicide risk.

While I appreciate the spirit in which the WATCH people want to help me raise my kids and your kids too I believe we've got the parental responsibility thing figured out. Responsible parents know there is at least a little danger in anything and everything a child does. Teaching them how to avoid that danger and survive it is called life.

So, let's not call these toys dangerous. Let's call them educational. And if you don't like these particular toys then don't buy them. That way the members of WATCH can go save another part of the planet and leave me and my devil-may-care childhood alone.



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