Toys are meant to entertain, to educate, and sometimes to babysit your kid for a few minutes of precious, precious quiet time. Toys are (generally) thoroughly tested and approved by committees and safety regulators. But what happens when they miss something? Or a kid gets especially creative with its playtime? Well, sometimes those supposedly harmless little play things can be harbringers of pain and suffering.
The list below isn't about children eating too much Gak, or choking on G.I. Joe's toy gun. These are the crazy stories, the "no way that happened because of a toy," stories, the stuff urban legends are made of. So, if you've ever wondered why you can't find that toy from your childhood on the shelf anymore, or whether a bounce house can actually take flight, read on.Below are the craziest near-death accidents caused by toys. Vote up the craziest toy accidents below, caused by toys you won't let your kids anywhere near after reading what they're capable of.
Atomic Energy Lab Let Kids Play With Radioactive Substances
Obviously, every future mad scientist needs a nuclear experimentation kit during their formative years. In 1950, these kits actually sold (for only 50 bucks, the equivalent of $500 today), complete with three "low level" radiation sources, a Geiger counter, a Wilson cloud chamber, a spinthariscope, and four uranium ore samples. No deaths ever directly linked back to this "toy," but who knows how many lives it effected. Just one of the isotopes included in the kit (u-238) is now known to cause cancer, leukemia, and lymphoma.
Instead Of Being Useful, Flubber Caused Disease
Just before Christmas 1962, to tie in with the upcoming Son of Flubber (sequel to The Absentminded Professor), Hasbro and Disney put out an actual bouncy green glob of goo, so kids everywhere could have their own Flubber. Short of the general choking hazard, it looked like a slam dunk product. However, within weeks, they faced numerous complaints of head-to-toe rashes, sore throats, and fevers. Turns out Flubber caused Folliculitis (an infection in the pores) among other maladies.
It gets more bizarre. After the recall, manufacturers tried to incinerate the Flubber and discovered it wouldn't burn; it just released plumes of noxious smoke. They proceeded to hire the Coast Guard to try to sink it, but it floated right back to the surface. Eventually, they used it to pave the new Hasbro facilities. Real-life Flubber: just as wonky as its on-screen counterpart.
A Bounce House Goes Airborne And Drops Its Inhabitants
In May 2014, a freak accident occurred when a gust of wind carried a bouncy house into the air, with its inhabitants still inside. Two kindergartners, ages five and six, fell out from a height of at least 15 feet, both landing on hard pavement. One landed in the apartment building's parking lot and suffered serious head injuries. The other landed on a nearby street and broke both arms and his jaw. A 10-year-old girl also fell from the bounce house, thankfully from a much lower height.
All things considered, it could have been much worse. After losing the weight from the children, the bounce house caught another updraft and soared up over 50 feet in the air (as pictured), eventually landing more than three blocks away.
Aqua Dots Knocked Kids Out
Remember Aqua Dots? If you can, remember them well, because you can't find them on shelves anymore. In 2007, scientists began investigating why the Dots, when ingested, caused bouts of dizziness, vomiting, and fainting in children. It turns out the manufacturer had changed the ingredients of the sticking compound and this new recipe metabolized into GHB (gamma-hydroxy butyrate)... also known as a common date rape drug. That's right; a major toy company distributed roofies to kids. Even in 2015, Spinmaster and Moose paid out a settlement to the family of a boy who suffered irreversible brain damage after eating an Aqua Dot.