With the rare exception you can rest assured the toys you buy for your kids today are safe, but that hasn't always been the case.
Safety standards were much lower a decade or two ago and almost nonexistent before then. Today recalls because of cadmium or toxic lead capture the headlines, but dangerous toys are nothing new.
Take the Gilbert U-238 Atomic Energy Lab for instance. What sounds like a top-secret military project was in reality a short-lived toy from the early 1950s -- and an expensive toy at that ($50 at the time, or more than $300 in today's dollars).
The toy was the most elaborate atomic energy educational set ever produced, containing actual uranium ore. Say what you will about current safety standards, but you can be pretty sure not many of today's toys are radioactive.
But thanks to its time, that toy never faced recall. These five dangerous toys weren't quite as fortunate ...
No. 5: Aqua Dots
One of the hottest toys in the months before Christmas in 2007, Aqua Dots would prove to also be one of the most dangerous.
The toy consisted of small, colorful beads that could be arranged in multidimensional designs and then sprayed with water to fuse them in place. A great, fun craft for the whole family, right?
One problem: The beads in this Chinese-made craft set contained a chemical that, when ingested, metabolized into the notorious "date rape" drug gamma hydroxybutyrate (GHB.) The Consumer Product Safety Commission reported that two children who had inadvertently swallowed the beads became comatose for hours and one child was hospitalized for five days.
Not exactly what you're looking for in the perfect Christmas gift.
The toy's manufacturer recalled 4.2 million units and suspended Aqua Dots from the market in November 2007.
Our next toy was literally too hot to handle ...
No. 4: Easy-Bake Oven
Even the classics can hit a rough patch. Consider the Easy-Bake Oven, more than 25 million of which have been sold since it was introduced in the 1960s.
The toy oven is such a go-to plaything that it was inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame in 2006. That same year, Hasbro introduced a front-loading version resembling a kitchen range.
The new version -- like many of the cakes cooked by the toy -- was apparently half-baked, as almost instantly reports of injuries started coming in. The model tended to trap children's hands and fingers in the oven's opening, inflicting second- and third-degree burns to unsuspecting would-be gourmet chefs.
In the end, 77 reports of burns were received, including one 5-year-old girl who required a partial finger amputation. Hasbro ended up recalling 985,000 of the front-loading ovens in February 2007.
At least the Easy-Bake Oven didn't have small pieces like our next toy ...
No. 3: Battlestar Galactica Missile Launcher
Despite lasting for less than a year, the original "Battlestar Galactica" wasted no time in selling out to the toy gods.
The sci-fi TV series debuted in September 1978, with Mattel soon after launching a line of toys inspired by the show. Faster than you can say merchandising, kids were begging their parents for the Viper, the Cylon Raider, the Scarab and the Stellar Probe.
But as quick as it began, the fun just as quickly came to an end. The ships came with tiny spring-loaded missiles and any parent can tell you that small children and small toy pieces just don't mix.