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CPSC Lists Top Five Toy Hazards

Nov 17, 2008 | Parker Waichman LLP

In a press release issued by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), Chairman Hal Stratton issued a warning to consumers as we approach this year’s holiday season.  Stratton warns consumers to be aware of toys and children’s products, which have been recently recalled that pose serious safety threats to children.  Stratton also announced the launch of a new federal government inter-agency Website—www.Recalls.gov—developed to give consumers easier access to recall releases.

“Before purchasing or giving any gift, particularly one intended for a child, double-check to make sure it does not pose a hazard,” Stratton said, also suggesting consumers, “Visit CPSC's Website to determine if it has been recalled.  Another option is to go to … www.Recalls.gov.  It's a 'one-stop shop' for the latest information on all federal government recalls."  The new site, said Stratton, has links to all federal agencies with statutory authority to issue recalls, such as the CPSC, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. Coast Guard, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

According to KTVN Reno, the CPSC has also just released a list of the top five toys that pose hazards to children.  The list  includes some items on which we have long been reporting.  The CPSC list includes scooters and similar riding toys that could pose hazards if children do not wear appropriate safety gear.  Also on the list reported by KTVN are small balls and toys with small parts that could pose choking hazards, as well as balloons,.  KTVN notes that battery chargers and battery adapters—items on which we have written extensively—are new to the list and can pose fire hazards.

Toys with small magnets are also included on the CPSC list.  We have long been reporting on the dangers of magnets when swallowed.  For instance, if a child swallows two or more magnets, the magnets can travel through the body, seeking each other out, causing serious damage as they move and when they do meet. KTVN quoted Nancy Nord, acting CPSC chairwoman, as saying, "We're also seeing more and more toy building sets with small magnets.  If magnets fall out of the piece and are swallowed by a child, that can really be a very, very serious hazard."

The CPSC also listed some large recalls including 40,000 Woody Dolls distributed by some Walt Disney Parks and Resorts; 67,000 Little People Animal Sounds Farms distributed by Fisher-Price; 300,000 Drumsticks sold with Toy Drum Sets distributed by Battat Incorporated; 55,000 Mini Bikes and 30,000 Scooters distributed by Fisher-Price; 1,200,000 Cosco Arriva and Turnabout Infant Car Seats/Carriers distributed by Dorel Juvenile Group Inc.; 1,300,000 Spit Smatter Spray Foam distributed by JAKKS Pacific Inc.; 300,000 Magic Start Crawl ‘n Stand distributed by Playskool; 528,000 “Pack ‘n Play” portable play yards with raised changing tables distributed by Graco Children’s Products; five brands of playpens totaling over 1,500,000 units; and 26,000 packages of Multi-colored Sidewalk Chalk imported by Target Corporation and containing high lead levels.

The CPSC also offers a variety of safety tips for consumers on its Website and noted that it is collaborating with U.S. Customs and Border Protection to check toy shipments before they reach U.S. stores.


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