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CPSC Releases ""Dangerous Dozen"" List of Recalled Toys

Release Date: December 12, 2000

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is launching a new safety campaign to get dangerous toys out of people's homes. Despite recall notices and public warnings, CPSC has found that many products with the potential to seriously injure or kill are still being used by consumers. CPSC is releasing a list of dangerous recalled toys -- encompassing a total of nearly 50,000,000 product units -- that might still be in people's homes. Parents can use the list to check for recalled toys before they bring new toys into their homes over the holidays.

"We can get recalled toys off store shelves," said CPSC Chairman Ann Brown, "but the more difficult task is to get recalled toys out of people's homes. Before you check off your holiday toy buying list, use our "Dangerous Dozen" list to check recalled toys that might still be lurking in your child's toy chest."

In addition, CPSC is teaming up with American International Group (AIG) to launch a TV public service announcement (PSA) on toy safety. The PSA, which began airing this month, features singer/songwriter Tom Paxton who wrote the well-known children's song, "The Marvelous Toy." Mr. Paxton said, "As a parent and grandparent, I urge other parents to make sure they read the age label and get the right safe toy for the right age child."

Today, CPSC is issuing its list of hazardous toys recalled in the past year. Parents can use the list to do a holiday safety check-up of their homes. Parents can get the list by going to the CPSC website,, or calling toll free, 1-800-638-2772. This list identifies recalled toys that are off store shelves but may still be lurking in toy boxes or closets.

Recalled Toys that May Still be in Consumers' Homes

- "Pokemon Balls" (25 million) distributed in Burger King kids meals in November and December, 1999, may pose a suffocation hazard to children under 3 years of age if either half of the ball gets stuck on the child's face, covering the nose and mouth. A 13-month-old girl and a 4- month-old boy reportedly suffocated when one-half of a Pokemon ball covered the nose and mouth. In addition, CPSC is aware of several non- suffocation incidents. Take the "Pokemon Balls" (including the clip) away from children under the age of 3 years and discard the ball or return both halves to a Burger King restaurant for a free small order of french fries.

- "KFC Tangled Treeples Toy" (425,000) distributed in KFC kids meals in June and July, 2000. The container can fit over a child's nose and mouth, posing a suffocation hazard to children under 3 years of age. A 19-month-old girl reportedly had the Tangled Treeples container stuck over her face, causing her distress. When her mother removed the container, there was a red mark left on the child's face. Discard the container or return it to any KFC restaurant for an individual-sized side item, such as macaroni and cheese.

- "Fazoli's Pasta Pals" (310,000) distributed in Fazoli's kids meals from January to August, 2000. The container can fit over a child's nose and mouth, which could pose a suffocation hazard to children under 3 years of age. Fazoli's received one report of a child putting the container over his mouth. Discard the container or return it to any Fazoli's restaurant for a free Italian Lemon Ice.

- Scooters: "Kent Kickin' Mini-Scooters" (90,000) sold from May 2000 through September 2000 and "Kash 'n Gold Racer X20 Scooters" (7,500) sold from August 2000 through September 2000. The Kent scooter handles can unexpectedly come out of the steering column, causing the rider to lose control, fall, and suffer injuries. Four children have suffered injuries, including broken arms, bruises, abrasions, and a cracked tooth. Call Kent at (800) 451-5368 for a replacement handlebar. The Kash 'N Gold scooter has a plastic "T" joint between the handlebars that can break, causing the rider to lose control, fall, and suffer injuries. Two children suffered injuries. Return the Kash scooter to the store for a refund or a new scooter with a metal "T" joint.

- "Toy Basketball Nets" (11 million) sold between 1976 and 1998 can strangle children on loops or openings in nets that come unhooked from the rim or have knots that slide. CPSC is aware of more than 20 reports of children under 5 years old whose head or neck caught in the net of a toy basketball set, and an 18-month-old child died after becoming entangled in a partly unhooked net. People should remove and throw away nets that can unhook or have knots that slide. Call the manufacturer to get new nets that securely attach to the rim and do not have sliding knots.

- "Sky Dancers Flying Dolls" (8.9 million) sold from 1994 through 2000 can fly rapidly in unpredictable directions and can hit and injure both children and adults. Galoob Toys Inc. and CPSC know about 170 reports of the dolls striking children and adults resulting in 150 reports of injuries. The injuries include eye injuries, broken teeth, a mild concussion, a broken rib, and facial lacerations. Call Galoob toll-free at (877) 598-5599 to get instructions on how to return the flying dolls to receive a product of equal value.

- "Wiggle Waggle Caterpillar" (1 million) sold from 1998 through 2000 from Child Guidance presents a choking hazard because of small balls attached to these toys. CPSC has received one report of a 5-month-old girl choking to death after one of the small balls attached to the toy lodged in her throat. CPSC also received reports of two children who started to choke on the ball from this toy. Call Child Guidance at (877) 586-1006 for information about sending back the toy to receive another toy of similar value.

- Battery-powered toy riding vehicles (500,000) sold by Tek Nek Toys, Empire Industries and Fisher-Price from 1995 through 2000 depending on model. Battery charger can overheat presenting a fire hazard (Tek Nek, Empire), or foot pedals can stick in the "on" position and children can be injured when vehicle fails to stop or strikes other objects (Fisher- Price motorcycles).

- "Busy Poppin Pals" (590,000) sold from 1994 through 2000 by Playskool have small springs inside that can break loose, posing a choking and laceration hazard to young children. Playskool received 24 reports of the springs breaking. Five children put the broken springs in their mouths, resulting in two children suffering lacerations. Call Playskool at (877) 518-9743 to receive a free, redesigned toy.

- "Klackeroo" (550,000) sold from October 1997 through September 2000 by Playskool has small, geometric-shaped pieces that come loose, posing a choking hazard to infants and young children. Playskool received 10 reports of the toy's knobs detaching to release small parts, including four reports of a small part from the toy being found in the mouth of an infant or young child. Call Playskool at (888) 671-9764 to get a redesigned replacement toy.

- "Leapfrog Alphabet Pal" (500,000) electronic pull toys sold from June 1999 through November 2000 by Knowledge Kids Enterprises Inc. have a red plastic connector on the pull string that can be pulled apart, and the end pieces pose a choking hazard to young children. The company received nine reports of the red plastic connector detaching, but no injuries were reported. Cut the red plastic connector off of the strings on this toy. Call the company at (877) 477-6641.

- "Xylophone Mallets from Stand-Up 'N Play Tables" (124,000) sold from 1996 through 1999 can become lodged in the throat of a young child, posing a choking hazard. Shelcore Inc. received a report of the mallet being jammed into the throat of a 13-month-old boy after he fell while teething on the ball end of the mallet. Lacerations in the throat resulted when an adult had to forcibly remove the mallet to prevent choking. Call Shelcore at (800) 777-0453 to get a free replacement mallet.

"We urge people to get CPSC's list, and get recalled toys out of your home before the new ones arrive for the holidays," said Brown.

CPSC's toll-free telephone hotline and web site provide information about recalled products and information on what to look for when buying products. Consumers can reach the hotline at (800) 638-2772 or visit the web site at

To get a list of all toy recalls from the past year, consumers should access CPSC's web site or send a postcard to "Toy Recall List," CPSC, Washington, D.C. 20207.

The following tips will help consumers choose appropriate toys this holiday season and all year round:

- 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 age 8, avoid toys that have sharp edges and points.

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

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

- Check instructions for clarity. They should be clear to you, and when appropriate, to the child.

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

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About the U.S. CPSC
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risk of injury or death associated with the use of thousands of types of consumer products. Deaths, injuries, and property damage from consumer product-related incidents cost the nation more than $1 trillion annually. CPSC's work to ensure the safety of consumer products has contributed to a decline in the rate of injuries associated with consumer products over the past 50 years. 

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