Dangerous Toys Abound During Holidays
Shoppers Urged to Be Aware of Toy Recalls and Hidden Toy Dangers
WebMD News Archive
Shopping for Safe Toys
Experts at the PIRG and the CPSC recommend the following tips
for choosing safe and appropriate toys for the children on your gift list:
- Select toys to suit the age, abilities, skills, and interest level of the
intended child. Toys too advanced may pose safety hazards to younger
- For infants, toddlers, and all children who still mouth objects, avoid toys
with small parts, which could pose a fatal choking hazard. Never give young
children small balls or balloons.
- Look for sturdy construction on plush toys, such as tightly secured eyes,
noses, and other potential small parts.
- Avoid toys that have sharp edges and points, especially for children under
- Do not purchase electric toys with heating elements for children under age
- Check toys that make loud noises, which may damage young ears. If it seems
too loud to an adult, it's too loud for a child.
- Read the label. Look for labels on toys that give age and safety
recommendations and use that information as a guide. Check instructions for
- Be careful when purchasing toys over the Internet. Some toys sold on web
sites may be manufactured by companies that do not comply with U.S. toy
regulations. Toys sold on discount or auction sites may also have been recalled
by the CPSC as hazardous.
- If you plan to give bicycles, scooters, skateboards, or inline skates,
don't forget to include appropriate safety gear, such as helmets and pads.
After the present has been opened, immediately discard any
plastic wrappings on toys. Plastic bags and wrappings can cause
Recent Toy Recalls
To make it easier for consumers to find out more about recall
announcements, the CPSC today announced the launch of a new federal recall web
site, www.Recalls.gov. This site contains
links to all federal agencies authorized to issue recalls, including the CPSC,
the FDA, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Environmental
Protection Agency, the U.S. Coast Guard, and the U.S. Department of
Here is a list of some recent toy recalls from the CSPC:
Woody Dolls (40,000) distributed by Walt Disney Parks and Resorts at
the Disney Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., Disney's Vero Beach Resort, Magic
of Disney and Flight Fantastic shops at the Orlando International Airport, and
Disney's Worldport shop at Pointe Orlando. The doll's clothing has buttons that
can detach, posing a choking hazard for young children. Call Walt Disney Parks
and Resorts at (866) 228-3664 or visit
www.waltdisneyworld.com to receive a refund.
Little People Animal Sounds Farm (67,000) distributed by
Fisher-Price. Two small metal screws that hold the toy "stall doors" in
place can come off, posing an aspiration or choking hazard to young children.
Call Fisher-Price toll-free at (866) 259-7873 to receive a free repair kit. Log
on to www.service.mattel.com
to determine if your product is one of the recalled models and to order the
free repair kit.
Drumsticks sold with toy drum sets (300,000) distributed by Battat
Inc. The end piece of the drumstick handle can break off, posing a choking
hazard to young children. The screw at the end of the drumstick can loosen and
detach, posing a choking hazard. Call Battat toll-free at (800) 247-6144 to get
a replacement set of drumsticks.
Scooters (30,000) and Mini Bikes (55,000) distributed by
Fisher-Price. The motor control circuits can malfunction, causing the scooters
and mini bikes to continue to run after the power or throttle button is
released, posing a risk of injury to children. Call Fisher-Price toll free at
(800) 528-7153 or log on to www.service.mattel.com
to receive information on how to have the toys serviced for free at a certified
Power Wheels Service Center.
Cosco "Arriva" and "Turnabout" Infant Car
Seats/Carriers (1,200,000) distributed by Dorel Juvenile Group Inc. When
the seat is used as a carrier, the plastic handle locks can unexpectedly break
or release from the carrying position, causing the seat to unlatch or flip
forward. When this happens, an infant can fall to the ground and suffer
injuries. Consumers may continue to use the product as a car seat but should
stop using it as a carrier. Call Dorel at (800) 880-9435 to get a free repair
kit, or go to www.djgusa.com.
"Spit Smatter" Spray Foam (1,300,000) distributed by JAKKS
Pacific Inc. The aerosol cans can forcefully break apart, posing a risk of
serious injury. Call JAKKS Pacific at (800) 554-5516 or go to www.jakkspacific.com to
get instructions on disposal and how to receive a refund.
Magic Start Crawl 'n Stand (300,000) distributed by Playskool. The
toy, which is designed to encourage crawling babies to pull themselves up and
stand, can tip over during use and strike falling babies in the head, face, or
neck, resulting in injuries. Call Playskool at (800) 509-9554 anytime to get
information on how to return the product to receive a free replacement item of
"Pack 'n Play" portable play yards with raised changing
tables (538,000) distributed by Graco Children's Products. When children are
placed in these portable play yards when the changing table is still in place,
they can crawl under and lift the table up. If this occurs, a child's head and
neck can become trapped between the changing table and the play yard rail,
causing a strangulation hazard. Consumers should never place a child in these
portable play yards when the changing table is still in place. Contact Graco to
receive a free warning label to be affixed to the changing table. Call (800)
233-1546 or go to www.gracobaby.com.
Playpens that can collapse (five brands totaling more than 1,500,000
units) and entrap a child in the V-shape folded top rails. The top rails must
be turned to set up the playpen. A new industry standard requires that the top
rails of these playpens automatically lock into place when the playpen is fully
set up. The CPSC obtained voluntary recalls of the following playpens with top
rails that people had to turn into place when setting up the playpen: Evenflo
"Happy Camper," "Happy Cabana," and "Kiddie Camper;"
Century "Fold-N-Go" Models 10-710 and 10-810; Baby Trend "Home and
Roam" and "Baby Express;" and Kolcraft "Playskool Travel-Lite
Model." The CPSC also issued a safety warning about "All Our Kids"
Models 742 and 762 playpens imported by a firm that is out of business.
Multicolored Sidewalk Chalk (26,000 packages) imported by Target
Corporation. The multicolored sidewalk chalk contains high levels of lead,
posing a risk of poisoning to young children. The sidewalk chalk was sold at
Target stores from March 2003 to July 2003 for about $1 per package. Consumers
should return the multicolored sidewalk chalk to Target stores for a refund.
Call Target Corporation at (800) 440-0680 between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. CT Monday
through Friday or go to the company's web site at