Basic Rhythms Drum Recall
On April 27, 2010, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, Health Canada, and the Step2 Company announced a voluntary recall of approximately 21,000 Step2 Basic Rhythms Drums toys, due to a choking hazard. Small plastic clips that attach the drumsticks to the drum can break off and be swallowed by young children.
The recall affects all Step2 Basic Rhythm Drums that were sold from August 2009 through March 2010 in Toys “R” Us stores, Burlington Coat Factory stores, and other retailers nationwide and in Canada. The drum toy, intended for preschool-age children, was sold with two drumsticks and a red “Step2” logo printed on the side of the drum.
Consumers are urged to take the recalled drum toys away from children immediately and contact Step2 for a replacement. The company can be reached at 866-860-1887.
Buckyballs Magnet Set Toys
On May 27, 2010, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and Maxfield and Oberton LLC announced a safety recall of approximately 175,000 Buckyballs High Powered Magnets Set toys, as the magnet sets do not meet the mandatory federal standards for magnetic toys. If swallowed or inhaled, the high-powered magnets pose a safety risk to young children, especially if more than one magnet is swallowed and the magnets attract each other internally and cause potentially fatal intestinal perforations or blockages.
The recall affects all Buckyballs magnet sets containing 216 powerful rare earth magnets. Buckyballs packaging indicates that the toys are intended for “Ages 13+,” but mandatory standards require that powerful magnets are not sold to children under 14. The manufacturing company has received two reports of the magnets being swallowed.
The magnet toy sets were sold in toy stores, stationery stores, office supply retailers, and online from March 2009 through March 2010.
Consumers are advised to take the recalled toys away from children under 14 immediately and contact the company at 888-847-8716 to receive a refund.
Cloth Books Recalled Due to High Levels of Lead
On January 8, 2010, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and St. Martin’s Press LLC announced a voluntary recall of approximately 204,000 “Big Rex and Friends” children’s cloth books, citing high levels of lead in a red plastic dot sewn in the book. If ingested by children, lead can be toxic and cause adverse health effects.
The recalled books have a black and white striped border with a red dinosaur on the cover and ISBN 031249260X or 9780312492601 printed on the back. The books were sold at Barnes & Noble, Toys “R” Us, Borders, Amazon, and other retailers nationwide from May 2004 through October 2009.
Consumers are asked to immediately take the book away from children and contact St. Martin’s Press at 800-347-9411 for instructions on obtaining a full refund.
Discovery Kids Lamp Recall
On February 9, 2010, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and Innovage, LLC announced a voluntary recall of approximately 360,000 Discovery Kids Animated Marine and Safari Lamps, due to a risk of fire and burn hazards. The lamps have a defective circuit board that could cause an electrical short.
The company has received nine reports of incidents involving the lamps catching fire or shorting, with one smoke inhalation injury to a child and three cases involving property damage.
The recall affects the following Discovery Kids products with batch numbers beginning with “2”:
- Discovery Kids Animated Marine Lamp (model number 1627121 or 1628626)
- Discovery Kids Animated Safari Lamp (model number 1627124 or 1628626)
The lamps are silver with rotating scenes of marine life or a safari, and “Discovery Kids” can be found on the upper left corner of the lamps. The lamps were sold at various stores nationwide from July 2009 through January 2010.
Consumers are urged to stop using the recalled lamps immediately and contact Innovage at 888-232-1535 to find out how to return the product for a full refund.
Dragonfly Helicopter Recall
On May 12, 2010, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and Imagine Nation Books Ltd./Books Are Fun announced a safety recall of approximately 46,000 “Fly Dragonfly” and “Queen Bee” remote-controlled helicopters, after receiving almost 50 reports of the helicopters overheating, igniting, or producing flames. The company received one report of minor property damage from the helicopter toy overheating.
The recall affects the black and yellow plastic “Fly Dragonfly” or “Queen Bee” remote-controlled helicopters measuring 19 inches long and 6.5 inches high. “Fly Dragonfly” and SKU #51727 can be found on product packaging, and the toys were sold through book/gift fairs in schools, hospitals, and office buildings nationwide from August 2009 through January 2010.
Consumers are advised to stop using the recalled toys immediately and contact the company at 800-917-0213 to receive a full refund.
Gund Baby Board Book Recall
On April 6, 2010, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), Health Canada, and Gund (Enesco, LLC) announced a voluntary recall of nearly 16,000 Gund Baby board books, citing a choking hazard if the Styrofoam material used in the book’s binding is swallowed or inhaled by infants or young children.
The recall affects three different miniature (4-1/2 inches by 7 inches) Gund children’s paperboard books, including:
- “Animals” (UPC 028399591749; item #059174)
- “Numbers” (UPC 028399591756; item #059175)
- “Colors” (UPC 028399591763; item #059176)
- Set of 3 books in a vinyl pouch (UPC 028399591732; item #059173)
The CPSC warns that the Styrofoam in the book binding can detach from the book, and Gund has received three reports of children mouthing the Styrofoam from the books. No injuries have been reported from the product.
The recalled books were sold in the U.S. and Canada at gift and specialty stores from January 2009 through March 2010. Consumers are advised to contact Gund at 1-800-436-3726 (U.S.) or 1-800-263-7095 (Canada) to arrange a return of the product and a free replacement item.
Knight Hawk Helicopter Recall
On January 26, 2010, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and RadioShack Corp. announced a voluntary recall of approximately 6,000 Danbar Knight Hawk Toy Helicopters for a potential fire hazard. The defective helicopter toys have a battery that can overheat when charging.
The recall affects Danbar Knight Hawk 3D remote control helicopters with model number 006047 on the back of the controller.
RadioShack has received one report of a fire starting at a store when the toy was charging. The products were sold at RadioShack locations nationwide and online from October 2009 through November 2009.
Consumers are urged to stop using the products immediately and return them to any RadioShack for a full refund.
1.3 Million MagnaMan Action Figures Recalled
On March 17, 2008, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and MEGA Brands America, Inc. announced a voluntary recall of approximately 1.3 million MagnaMan magnetic toy action figures for a potential choking hazard, as well as a magnetic hazard. The small magnets inside of the action figures can detach and be swallowed by young children. If more than one magnet is swallowed, the magnets may attract each other and cause intestinal perforations, blockages, and even death.
The recalled toys include the MagnaMan Magnetic toy figures in the “Futuristic Warrior” or “Ancient Warrior” styles. Recalled models and model numbers include:
- Alien (green), #28170
- Robotor (red), #281
- Flame (orange), #28172
- Gigantor (blue), #28173
- Toyoto the Samurai (purple), #28164
- Sir Lancelot the Knight (gray), #28165
- Eric the Viking (blue), #28166
- Brutus the Gladiator (yellow), #28167
- Robot Assortment, #28198
- Vac Metal, #28327
- 4-Pack, #28175
- 3-Pack, #28393
- 2-Pack, #28392
- Vac Metal Assortment, #28327
- Assortment, #28254 or #28199
The company has received 25 reports of the magnets coming loose from the figures. The toys were sold nationwide at stores including Wal-Mart, Target, Toys R Us, K-Mart, and others from January 2005 through December 2007.
Consumers are asked to stop using the products immediately and return them to MEGA Brands for a free replacement toy.
In recent years, as the magnet has grown in popularity, it has been used in toys, jewelry, building sets, and other objects geared towards children to create new and exciting products. The fascinating force behind a small object can hold a child’s attention for hours. A number of different toys on the market contain magnets inside of the toys.
Magnetic toys are used by children of all ages. However, children under the age of 6 are more susceptible to the dangers associated with toys containing small magnets.
Dangers of Magnetic Toys
The small magnets located in many toys and building sets can pose a number of risks to children. If the magnets are swallowed, serious injuries, complications, and even death can result. If a child swallows more than one magnet, or a magnet and a metal component, extreme damage can be done to the intestines if the two attract to each other through the intestinal walls. Possible injuries from swallowing two or more magnet include: twisting and blockage of the intestines, infection, perforations in the walls of the intestines, blood poisoning, and even death. The only way the magnets can be removed if swallowed is through surgery.
Defects of Magnetic Toys
Serious injuries and death occurring in connection with magnetic toys is due largely to defective manufacturing of the products containing the magnets. Poor construction of a magnetic toy can lead to the breakage of the product, dislodging small magnets that may be played with and swallowed by young children. The faulty manufacturing of these toys can pose a serious risk to children. The Consumer Product and Safety Commission (CPSC) has recalled a number of major name brand magnetic toys as a result of defective construction in the design.
The CPSC recommends manufacturers of magnetic toys ensure that the magnetic components placed inside of the toys be too large for a child to swallow. A small parts cylinder is used in the screening of toys for choking hazards in children under the age of 3. The magnetic part being placed inside of a toy should not be capable of fitting in to this cylinder. In addition, the CPSC states that toys containing magnets should be designed and constructed of sturdy, durable materials that will ensure the magnet stays firmly in place inside of the component. Tests to check product durability, such as an impact test or lifetime cycling test may be implemented. In addition, the packaging of all magnetic toys should contain a warning label written in the American Society for Testing and Materials suggested language. It is highly suggested by the CPSC that all toys manufactured for children under the age of 14 meet these recommendations.
Injury and Death Statistics
Since 2005, there have been a total of 86 injuries and one death connected to magnetic toys.
A 20-month-old boy swallowed magnets that twisted his small intestines, creating blockage, and ultimately, causing his death.
A 5-year-old boy required surgery to remove two magnets from his lung. In addition, three other children required surgery and extensive hospital care as a result of perforations on the intestinal wall caused by swallowing magnets. Many other children have required surgery and hospital care to remove magnets that were swallowed as a result of faulty manufacturing in magnetic toys.
Recalls on Magnetic Toys
Many magnetic toys have been recalled since 2005. Some examples of these toys include:
Magtastik and Magnetix Jr. Pre-School Magnetic Toys
Approximately 1.1 million units of these magnetic toys were recalled by MEGA Brands America Inc., of Livingston, New Jersey. The magnets located in the vehicles, animals, and building sets may detach, posing a serious risk to young children who may swallow the magnets. Reports received by MEGA Brands included a 3-year-old-boy who had to have a magnet surgically removed from his nasal cavity, and one report of an 18-month-old who had a magnet in his mouth. These toys contain flexible parts that allow them to connect to metal bars through a magnet embedded in the part. The toys were manufactured in China and sold in stores across the nation such as Wal-mart, Toys “R” Us, and Target between January 2005 and December 2007.
Barbie and Tanner play sets
Mattel Inc. recalled approximately 683,000 Barbie and Tanner play sets as a result of three reports in which the magnet located inside the “scooper” accessory dislodged. The recalled “scooper” accessory was included in Barbie and Tanner play sets having model numbers J9472 and J9560. In the recalled models, the scooper contains a visible silver magnet on the end. The toy was manufactured in China and imported by Mattel Inc., of El Segundo, California. The Barbie and Tanner play set sold in toy stores and other retailers throughout the nation from May 2006 to August 2007.
Nature Wonders Toy Horse Recall
On January 26, 2010, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and Blip Toys announced a safety recall of approximately 15,000 Nature Wonders HD Pinto Horse Toy Figures, citing a violation of federal lead paint standards found in the surface paint. The horse figurines were sold at Walmart stores nationwide from January 2009 through July 2009 for about $4.
The recall affects all Nature Wonders HD pinto horse figurines with model number 92093. The horses are made of plastic and are white with brown spots, measuring 4 inches in height.
Consumers are advised to take the toys away from children immediately and contact the company at 888-405-7696 to receive a free replacement product.
Playskool Tool Bench Toys Recalled after Two Deaths
On September 22, 2006, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and Playskool announced a voluntary recall of approximately 255,000 Team Talkin’ Tool Bench toys after receiving reports that two young children choked and suffocated on the oversized, plastic toy nails that are sold with the toy benches.
A 19-month-old boy from West Virginia and a 2-year-old boy from Texas suffocated when the toy nails became forcefully lodged in their throats. The toy benches were intended for children age 3 and older, but Playskool recalled the products as a precautionary measure to avoid future incidents.
The recall affects the Team Talkin’ Tool Bench, a 20-inch plastic toy tool bench that includes an animated red toy saw, a yellow toy drill, a blue toy vice, a toy hammer, screwdriver, two plastic screws, two plastic nails, and pieces to build a small toy plane.
The toy tool benches were sold at Toys “R” Us, Walmart, Target, KB Toys, and other retailers nationwide from October 2005 through September 2006.
Consumers are advised to immediately remove the two toy nails from the reach of children and contact Playskool at 800-509-9554 to receive information about returning the nails and obtaining a gift certificate.
Wind Chime Toy Recall
On February 10, 2010, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, Health Canada, Tiny Love Inc., and the Maya Group Inc. announced a voluntary recall of approximately 800,000 wind chime toys, due to a puncture and laceration hazard. The toys can easily be pulled apart by a baby, which exposes sharp metal rods.
The recall affects all wind chime toys sold separately or with the Gymini Kick & Play Activity Gym and Tiny Smarts Gift Sets. The following chimes have been recalled:
- Baby Wind Chime (item #493)
- Baby Wind Chime- Ocean (item #593)
- Tiny Smarts- Baby Bunny (item #512)
- Wind Chime- Duck (item #811)
- Wind Chime- Louie (item #516)
- Wind Chime- Ella (item #517)
- Tiny Smarts Gift Set- Bunny Wind Chime (item #539)
The company has received five reports of the wind chimes being pulled apart, with one incidence of the exposed metal rods puncturing a 24-month-old baby’s cheek.
The wind chimes and sets were sold at retail stores nationwide, including Toys “R” Us, Walmart, Target, Best Buy Baby, and TJ Maxx, from February 2002 through February 2010.
Consumers are urged to immediately remove the recalled wind chimes from a baby’s reach and contact Tiny Love at 888-791-8166 to receive a free replacement.
The yo-yo is one of the oldest toys still commonly popular among youth today. First made popular in the 1920s, the yo-yo simply consists of two pieces of wood, metal, or plastic connected with an axel. String is wrapped around the axel and the middle finger is placed into a slip-knot at the end of the string. The objective is to make the yo-yo travel up and down the string with a flick of the wrist. Many tricks and stunts can be performed with a yo-yo. A number of variations on the original yo-yo have come onto the market, making the toy a popular item with kids of all ages.
Yo-Yo Water Ball Toys
One of the more recent variations to the original yo-yo is the yo-yo water ball toy. The toys are made from a soft, rubbery material and consist of a ball filled with liquid. A stretchy elastic cord is attached to the ball and a finger loop is located at the end. When the middle finger is placed in the loop and the ball is flicked with the wrist, the toy is capable of stretching more than 3 feet.
CPSC States Yo-Yo Water Ball Toys Present a Slight Strangulation Risk
Controversy over yo-yo water ball toys and their safety led the U.S Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to conduct an investigation on the popular toy in 2003. According to the CPSC report, yo-yo water balls may present a slight strangulation risk, but the risk is low. It stated that the yo-yo water ball toy did not meet mandated standards for a recall, and the product posed little risk of strangulation. Of the reported cases of the cord wrapping around a child’s neck, either the child or an adult easily removed it. In each instance, the child was swinging the yo-yo ball toy over their head like a lasso. There had been further concerns expressed over the toxic level of the liquid contained in the yo-yo water ball, as well as flammability concerns of the toy. In addition to the initial investigation on strangulation hazards, tests were performed on toxicity of the liquid inside the ball, as well as flammability of the toy. No toxicity or flammability was found, and the yo-yo water balls were determined to be safe. The CPSC stated that it would continue further investigations as incident reports were received about the toy, but that the toy did not meet Congressional mandates for a recall.
Hazards of Yo-Yos
Yo-Yos may pose a strangulation hazard as a result of the string becoming wrapped around a child’s neck if it is swung above the head like a lasso. In addition, yo-yos can present a choking hazard in the event that it breaks apart and small pieces are revealed.
Concerning yo-yo water ball toys, 186 reports were received in which the cord of the yo-yo water ball wrapped around a child’s neck. In every case, the cord was easily and successfully removed. There were seven instances of broken blood vessels on the neck, scalp, ears, cheeks, eyes, and eyelids.
Examples of Defective Yo-Yo Toys
Examples of yo-yos that have either been recalled due to defects, or otherwise taken from store shelves, include:
Light Up Yo-Yo
The Ruby Restaurant Group, of Newport Beach, California recalled approximately 200,000 light-up yo-yo toys because the two halves of the yo-yo can separate, revealing small parts that could pose a choking hazard to children. One report was received about the toy coming apart. The yo-yos were manufactured in China and distributed at various Ruby’s Diners between February 2006 and March 2006 in Washington, Arizona, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Hawaii, and California. The small, 2-inch clear plastic yo-yos were red, blue, or green with “Ruby’s Diner” printed on them.
Yo-Yo Water Ball Toys
Despite the investigation and report from the CPSC that yo-yo water ball toys posed only a slight strangulation hazard, and did not meet mandatory requirements for recall, many major distributors pulled the yo-yo from the shelves in response to consumer fears and demand. Some of the retailers included Toys “R” Us, Saks, and Walgreens.