CPSC Chairman Warns Holiday Gift Shoppers To Check For Previously Recalled Toys; Agency Launches Neighborhood Safety Network (NSN) Initiative

November 22, 2004
Release Number: 05-054

"Gift buyers should be on the lookout for recalled toys and children's products this holiday season," said U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) Chairman Hal Stratton. Stratton was joined by Gary Smith, MD, chairperson of the American Academy of Pediatrics' (AAP) Committee on Injury, Violence and Poison Prevention; and Charlene Zettel, director of California's Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) today at CPSC's annual Holiday Toy Safety Press conference in Washington, DC. "Recalled products pose potentially serious safety threats to youngsters," Stratton said.

CPSC has reports of 11 toy-related deaths involving children under age 15 that occurred in 2003. Most of these deaths occurred when a child choked on or aspirated a toy. The toys involved in these incidents were small balls, balloons, a game piece and a toy bead. Also, in 2003, an estimated 155,400 children were treated for toy-related injuries in U.S. hospital emergency rooms, down nearly 23 percent since 2001.

To further reduce deaths and injuries, and to quickly get the word out about consumer safety issues, Stratton today announced the launch of the Neighborhood Safety Network (NSN). NSN is a web-based grassroots initiative aimed at delivering lifesaving information to hard-to-reach consumers.

"The Neighborhood Safety Network will get important safety information to older Americans, urban and rural low-income families, new parents and minority groups," said Stratton.

The AAP is supporting the renewed federal push to increase recall effectiveness. "As a longtime partner of the CPSC on toy safety isues, the AAP has been working with the agency on the NSN project since the recall of children's lead jewelry last summer," said Dr. Smith. "Pediatricians are using CPSC safety posters in their offices to ensure that their patients receive this information."

Another important component of the Neighborhood Safety Network is close cooperation with state consumer safety departments across the nation. "We welcome CPSC's effort to reach vulnerable populations with safety information, because increased awareness can help reduce deaths and injuries," said Zettel.

Other partners in the Neighborhood Safety Network include the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Indian Health Service, National SAFE KIDS Coalition, Meals on Wheels, and Boys and Girls Clubs of America.

Community groups and individual consumers can download the new holiday safety poster and sign up to receive all NSN safety and recall information at the CPSC Web site at www.cpsc.gov, or by calling CPSC's Hotline toll-free at (800) 638-2772.

Consumers also should check that their gift lists do not include any of the recalled toys or children's products on CPSC's checklist. These items were recalled during the last year. You should not find them for sale now but check any gifts purchased earlier this year against the list.

Checklist of Previously Recalled Toys and Children's Products
(For further detail on recalled items, click on the links below or consult CPSC's web site)

- Bumble Bee Toys (398,000) distributed by Graco Children's Products. Graco received 26 reports of the antennae breaking off the bumble bee toys, including five reports of children who started to choke on the broken antennae. One child's throat was scratched when the child's mother removed the broken antenna from the child's mouth. Call Graco at (800) 258-3213 to receive a free replacement toy.

- Nerf® Big Play Football (294,000) distributed by Hasbro. The football contains a hard plastic interior frame that can pose a risk of facial cuts if a child is hit during play. There have been nine reports of facial injuries, including eight requiring stitches or medical attention. Call Hasbro at (866) 637-3244 or visit the firm's Web site at www.nerf.com to receive a replacement NERF product of equal value.

- Children's Mirror Books (225,000) distributed by Kids II Inc. The mirror in the books can crack or break, posing a laceration hazard to young children. Kids II has received 26 reports of the mirror cracking or breaking, including four reports of cuts and one report of a pinched finger. Call Kids II at (877) 325-7056 or visit the firm's Web site at www.kidsii.com for instructions on returning the mirror for a refund.

- Radio-Control Toy Trucks (287,000) distributed by Nikko America Inc. A problem with the circuit board causes the toy truck to overheat, posing a fire and burn hazard. No injuries have been reported. Call Nikko America at (866) 232-6013 for instructions on returning the product for a free circuit board replacement.

- Ride-On Toys (70,000) distributed by Tek Nek Toys International. The screw and nut assembly attaching the steering wheel can come loose, posing a choking and aspiration hazard to young children. Tek Nek Toys has received six reports of the screw and nut coming loose, including the death of an 18-month-old boy who aspirated a screw. Call Tek Nek Toys at (888) 661-0222 to receive free replacement parts.

- BATMAN™ BATMOBILE™ Toy Vehicle (314,000) distributed by Mattel Inc. The rear tail wings of the Batmobile are made of rigid plastic and come to a point, which poses a potential puncture or laceration hazard to young children. Mattel has received 14 reports of injuries consisting of scrapes, scratches, lacerations and punctures. Four of the injuries required medical treatment. Call Mattel at (888) 271-9891 to determine if the toy is among the recalled models and to order the free replacement wings if needed.

- Children's Athletic Shoes (441,000) distributed by Payless ShoeSource Inc. The metal eyelet lace holder at the top of the shoes can detach, posing a choking hazard to young children. Payless ShoeSource has received one report of a child starting to choke on a detached eyelet from one of these shoes. No injuries have been reported. Call Payless at (800) 654-697 or visit the firm's Web site at www.payless.com for information on returning these shoes to a Payless ShoeSource store for a cash refund or exchange.

"Rock ‘N Roller" Baby Strollers (300,000) distributed by Dorel Juvenile Group USA. If the stop pins are bent or missing or the seat is not fully attached, the seat can partially detach from the frame during use and the infant occupant can be injured in a fall. There have been 77 reports of problems related to the stroller seats. Injuries included one child who fell and had a slight concussion and another child who cut his forehead and required stitches. Additionally, there were 46 reports of bumps and bruises. Call Dorel Juvenile Group at (800) 711-0402 to determine how to inspect the stroller for possible replacement.

- Metal Toy Jewelry Sold in Vending Machines (150 million pieces) by four toy jewelry importers (AA Global Industries Inc., Brand Imports, Cardinal Distributing Co. and L.M. Becker & Co. Inc.). Some of the toy jewelry contains dangerous levels of lead. CPSC has received one report of lead poisoning when a child swallowed a piece of toy jewelry containing lead that was previously recalled. No reports of injuries or illnesses have been received from products by these companies listed above. Consumers should throw away recalled jewelry.

- Toddler's Athletic Shoes (140,000) distributed by Reebok International. The I-3 logo-tag on the tongue of the shoe can be peeled off, posing a choking hazard to young children. Reebok has received a report of an 8-month-old child mouthing the logo-tag. The tag was removed without injury. Call Reebok at (800) 843-4444 or visit the firm's Web site at www.reebok.com to receive a refund.



    The following safety tips will help consumers choose appropriate toys:

- Select toys to suit the age, abilities, skills and interest level of the intended child. Toys too advanced may pose safety hazards to younger children.

- For infants, toddlers and all children who still mouth objects, avoid toys with small parts, which could pose a fatal choking hazard.

- Look for sturdy construction, such as tightly-secured eyes, noses and other potential small parts.

- For all children under 8, avoid toys that have sharp edges and points.

- Do not purchase electric toys with heating elements for children under 8.

- Be a label reader. Look for toy labels that give age and safety recommendations and use that information as a guide.

- Check toy instructions for clarity – for both you and, when appropriate, the child.

- Immediately discard plastic wrappings on toys, which can cause suffocation, before they become deadly playthings.



U.S. CONSUMER PRODUCT SAFETY COMMISSION
Holiday Toy Safety: November 22, 2004
This is a selected list of recalled toys and children's products.
Visit CPSC's web site for a complete list of recalls: www.cpsc.gov

CPSC News Release

Product and Firm

Problem

Remedy

04-064
1/14/04

Bumble Bee Toys with Blue Antennae sold separately and with certain Graco high chairs and Graco mobile entertainers.

Manufactured by Graco Children's Products Inc. of Exton, Pa.

Sold from November 2001 through March 2003 on high chairs and mobile entertainers for between $39 and $89.

The blue antennae on the Bumble Bee toy can break, posing a choking hazard to young children.

398,000 units

Graco received 26 reports of the antennae breaking off of the Bumble Bee, including five reports of children who started to choke. And one report of child whose throat was scratched.

Discard Bumble Bee toys and contact Graco for replacement toy.

(800) 258-3213

 

04-074
1/30/04

Nerf Big Play Football

Manufactured by Hasbro Inc., of Pawtucket, R.I.

Sold from August 2003 to January 2004 for about $10.

The football contains a hard plastic interior frame that can pose a risk of facial cuts if a child is hit during play.

294,000 units

There have been nine reports of facial injuries, including eight requiring stitches or medical attention.

Return the football to the company for a replacement Nerf product of equal value.

(866) 637-3244

www.nerf.com

04-117
4/17/03

Radio-Control Toy Trucks

Manufactured by Nikko America Inc., of Plano, Texas.

Sold from July 2003 through February 2004 for about $60.

Nikko America has received five reports of the toy trucks overheating, resulting in minor property damage caused by fire and smoke.

287,000 units

No injuries have been reported.

Contact Nikko America for instructions on returning the product for a free circuit board replacement.

(866) 232-6013

www.nikkoamerica.com/recall

04-118
4/14/04

BATMAN BATMOBILE Toy Vehicle

Manufactured/ Imported by Mattel Inc., of El Segundo, Calif.

Sold nationwide from June 2003 through February 2004 for about $27.

The rear tail wings of the Batmobile are made of rigid plastic and come to a point, which poses a potential puncture or laceration hazard to young children.

314,000 units

Mattel has received 14 reports of injuries consisting of scrapes, scratches, lacerations and punctures. Four of the injuries required medical attention.

Contact Mattel to receive replacement wings.

(888) 271-9891

www.service.mattel.com

04-119
4/14/04

Ride-On Toys

Manufactured by Tek Nek International, L.P., of Grapevine, Texas.

Sold nationwide from December 2002 through March 2004 for about $30.

Tek Nek Toys has received six reports of the screw and nut coming loose, including the death of an 18-month-old boy who aspirated on a screw.

70,000 units

Contact Tek Nek Toys immediately for free replacement parts.

(888) 661-0222

04-123
4/20/04

Children's Mirror Books

Imported by Kids II Inc., of Alpharetta, Ga.

Sold nationwide from December 2001 through March 2004 for between $4 and $8.

The mirror in the books can crack or break, posing a laceration hazard to young children.

225,000 units

Kids II has received 26 reports of the mirror cracking or breaking, including four reports of cuts and one report of a pinched finger.

Detach and mail the mirror page of the product to Kids II at 1015 Winward Ridge Parkway, Alpharetta, Ga. 30005 for a refund.

(877) 325-7056

www.kidsii.com

04-149
6/2/04

Children's Athletic Shoes sold as Smart Fit and Teeny Toes

Manufactured by Payless ShoeSource Inc., of Topeka, Kan.

Sold nationwide from December 2003 through April 2004 for about $10.

The metal eyelet lace holder at the top of the shoe can detach, posing a choking hazard to young children.

441,000 units

There has been one report of a child starting to choke on a detached eyelet.

Return the shoes to a Payless ShoeSource store for a cash refund or exchange.

(800) 654-0697

www.payless.com

04-168
6/23/04

Cosco "Rock ‘N Roller" Baby Stroller

Manufactured/Distributed by Dorel Juvenile Group USA, of Columbus, Ind.

Sold nationwide from April 1996 through August 2002 for between $79 and $179.

If the stop pins are bent or missing or the seat is not fully attached, the seat can partially detach from the frame during use and the infant occupant can be injured in a fall.

300,000 units

There have been 77 reports of problems related to the stroller's seat, including one child who suffered a slight concussion and another child that cut his forehead, requiring stitches. Additionally, there were 46 reports of bumps and bruises.

Call Dorel to determine how to inspect the stroller for possible replacement.

(800) 711-0402

www.djgusa.com

04-174
7/8/04

Metal Toy Jewelry sold in vending machines

Imported by A&A Global Industries Inc., of Cockeysville, Md.; Brand Imports, LLC, of Scottsdale, Ariz.; Cardinal Distributing Co. Inc., of Baltimore, Md.; and L.M. Becker & Co., of Kimberly, Wis.

Sold nationwide from January 2002 through January 2004 for between $0.25 and $0.75.

Some of the toy jewelry contains dangerous levels of lead, posing a risk of lead poisoning to children.

150 million pieces

Consumers should throw away the recalled jewelry.

04-217
9/20/04

"Iverson/Answer" toddler athletic shoes

Manufactured by Reebok International Ltd., of Canton, Mass.

Sold nationwide from March 2004 through August 2004 for about $35.

The I-3 logo tag on the tongue of the shoe can be peeled off, posing a choking hazard to young children.

140,000 pairs

Reebok has received a report of an 8-month-old child mouthing the logo-tag. The tag was removed without injury.

Contact Reebok to receive a refund.

(800) 843-4444

www.reebok.com

NOTE: Products listed above may have already been repaired or there may be similar products that do not have the identified problems. For assistance in identifying recalled products, call the manufacturer listed or the CPSC toll-free Hotline at 800-638-2772.