|November 20th, 2012 :: Watch Releases 2012 "10 Worst Toys" List :: Read Press Release
|World Against Toys Causing Harm, Inc.
(W.A.T.C.H.), a Massachusetts charitable non-profit corporation, was
founded by Edward M. Swartz (1934-2010), who was a nationally known trial lawyer and child
safety consumer advocate. Beginning in 1968, Swartz worked to educate
the public about life-threatening toys and other childrens products,
including childrens furniture, clothing and playground equipment.
His first book on the subject, Toys That Donít Care (Gambit, distributed by Houghton Mifflin, 1971), was acclaimed as an informative and meaningful expose. Swartzs
second book, Toys That Kill (Vintage/Random House, 1986), relates with detail his fight to force changes in the then 15 billion-dollar-a-year toy industry. |
Realizing the need for a national organization that would more fully
educate the public to the dangers lurking in many toys and childrens
products, Swartz organized a grass roots national crusade for childrens
safety. "W.A.T.C.H." was founded as a non-profit organization dedicated
to childrens causes and committed to the creation of multi-dimensional
educational programs. The goal of the programs is to teach children
in elementary school classrooms, through cooperative learning, how
to develop the critical thinking and participation skills necessary
to becoming responsible consumers in a consumer-oriented society.
W.A.T.C.H. developed a bi-lingual (English/Spanish) school curriculum
called "Toys, You And The Real World".
Based on childrens interest levels in toys and the amount of
time children spend playing with them, toys were chosen as the springboard
from which children could be enlightened to matters about the world.
Included in these matters are democracy, our legal system, safety,
economics, advertising, differences in culture and gender, how to
express their opinions and confidence in the belief that their voices
can make a difference. "Toys, You
and the Real World" was successfully launched in Newton,
Massachusetts where it was hailed by school administrators, teachers,
and city officials alike, as an important and effective program. Its
success has been evidenced by its implementation at some New York
City bi-lingual schools and in Wisconsin elementary schools. It has
been taught at Bostons John F. Kennedy Public Elementary School,
and we are hopeful that these teaching materials will be made available
to all grade schools across the nation, once funding is obtained.
Since 1973, the annual "10 Worst Toys" list has identified toys with the potential
to cause childhood injuries, and even death. W.A.T.C.H.'s annual "Toy
Conference" has generated extensive national press and media
coverage. Because of its efforts, and the positive response from both
the media and the public, there have been many toy and product design
changes. Founder Edward M. Swartz (1934-2010) and W.A.T.C.H. have fearlessly exposed
potentially dangerous toys to the general public. As a result, childrens
lives have been saved.