Playing With Danger
WebMD News Archive
The good news is that most manufacturers will either refund,
replace, or repair recalled products, Brown says. But as a grandmother and
mother, it is best to have a new toy to give the child when taking away a
recalled one, she cautions.
While buying new toys, parents also should keep in mind that
not all toys are suited for the age, abilities, or skills of the child, Brown
says. To be on the safe side, Brown recommends reading the label. The label
provides age ranges for each toy that can be used as a guide to ensure that the
toy is suitable, she says.
Brown also recommends avoiding toys with small parts that could
pose a choking hazard for children under age 3, and toys with sharp edges or
points for all children under age 8. Brown says that parents also should
immediately discard the plastic wrappings found on the package because these
wrappers can suffocate.
"It is important that parents always keep safety in
mind," she says.
The "dirty dozen" toys include:
- "Pokemon Balls" distributed in Burger King kid meals: According to
the commission, these balls can suffocate children under age 3 if either half
of the ball gets stuck on the child's face. The commission says it is aware of
a 13-month-old girl and a 4-month-old boy who reportedly suffocated because of
these balls. The balls can be returned to a Burger King restaurant for a free
small order of fries.
- The "Tangled Treeples Toy" distributed in KFC kid meals: The
container can fit over a child's nose and mouth, posing a suffocation hazard to
children under age 3, according to the commission. It says it is aware of at
least one 19-month-old girl who reportedly got the container stuck to her face.
The container can be returned to any KFC restaurant for an individual-sized
- The "Fazoli's Pasta Pals" distributed in Fazoli's kid meals from
January to August: Like the KFC toy container, this toy's container can fit
over a child's nose and mouth, according to the report. The agency says Fazoli
has received at least one report of a child that did this. The container can be
returned to any Fazoli's restaurant for a free Italian Lemon Ice. A total of
310,000 units were distributed prior to the recall.
- The "Kent Kickin' Mini Scooters" and "Kash n' Gold Racer X20
Scooters" sold from May through September: The Kent scooter handles can
unexpectedly come off, causing the rider to lose control and fall, the agency
says. The commission says it know of at least four children who have now
suffered injuries, including at least one broken arm. The Kash n' Gold scooter
has a plastic joint between the handlebars that can break, also causing the
rider to lose control. Both scooters can be returned for a full refund or a new
scooter with upgraded parts. A total of 90,000 Kent scooters and 7,500 Kash n'
Gold scooters were sold prior to the recall.
- All toy basketball nets sold between 1976 and 1998: These nets can strangle
children when they become unhooked from the rim, according to the report. The
agency has now received more than 20 reports of children under age 5, whose
head or neck got caught in the net. It also is aware of an 18-month-old child
who died after becoming entangled in an unhooked net. New nets, the agency
says, can be obtained by calling the manufacturers. About 11 million were sold
prior to the recall.
- The "Sky Dancer Flying Dolls" sold between 1994 and 2000: These
dolls can fly off in unpredictable directions, injuring both children and
adults alike, according to the commission. The agency says it knows of about
170 incidents in which the dolls caused a variety of injuries, including one
broken rib. The toy can be returned to its maker, Galoob Toys Inc., to receive
a replacement product of equal value. Almost 9 million dolls were sold prior to
- The "Wiggle Waggle Caterpillar" sold from 1998 to 2000: This toy
represents a choking hazard to children under age 3 because the small balls
attached to the toy can come off. The commission has received one report of a
5-month-old girl choking to death on one of these balls. The toy can be
returned to its maker, Child Guidance, for another toy of similar value. One
million caterpillars were sold before the recall.
- The battery-powered toy riding vehicles sold by Tek Nek Toys, Empire
Industries, and Fisher-Price from 1995 through 2000: The battery charger can
overheat, presenting a fire hazard, the report says. The foot pedals also can
stick in the "on" position, causing the vehicle to strike other
objects. Before the recall, 500,000 of the toys were sold.
- The "Busy Popping Pals" sold by Playskool between 1994 and 2000:
These toys have small springs that can break loose and choke or cut young
children. So far, the agency is aware of about 25 such incidents, they say. The
toy can be replaced with a newly redesigned version by calling Playskool.
Almost 600,000 units were distributed prior to the recall.
- The "Klackeroo" sold by Playskool between 1997 and 2000: This toy's
geometrically shaped pieces can become detached, posing a choking hazard to
infants and young children, the commission says. Playskool has in fact received
10 reports of the parts becoming detached, including four cases where those
parts were found in the mouth of an infant or young child, the agency says. A
redesigned replacement can be obtained by calling Playskool, which sold 550,000
Klackeroos prior to the recall.
- The "Leapfrog Alphabet Pal" electronic pull toys sold from June
1999 through November 2000 by Knowledge Kids Enterprises Inc.: This toy has a
red plastic connector on the pull string that can be pulled apart, posing a
choking hazard, according to the report. The company has received nine reports
of the connector coming off, although none resulted in an injury. But unlike
the other toys, the agency says, this toy can be repaired. Parents that wish to
keep the toy may simply cut off the strings, the commission says. A total of
500,000 were sold before the recall.
- The "Xylophone Mallets from Stand-Up 'N Play Tables" sold between
1996 through 1999: These mallets represent a choking hazard to young children,
according to the agency. It says it is aware of at least one 13-month-old boy
who almost choked on a mallet after he fell while teething on it. The mallets
can be replaced by calling the toys' maker, Shelcore, at 1-800-777-0453.
Shelcore sold 124,000 of them before the recall.