News in 2006

In addition to providing information pertaining to our organization, KID provides brief updates on current children's product safety information and events. For more frequent news, visit KID's blog.

Contents of this Issue

Polly Pocket toys recalled for magnet hazard

December 2006 E Alert Mattel, along with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission voluntarily recalled 4.4 million Polly Pocket play sets due to small magnetic parts that can fall out undetected. The tiny magnets in these toys can fall out and be ingested. When more than one is swallowed, they can attract, causing intestinal perforation, infection, and potentially fatal injuries. There have been 170 reports of magnets coming out of the Polly Pocket toys and three serious injuries.

Thanksgiving marked the one year anniversary of the death of Kenny Sweet who died in 2005 after swallowing two magnets that came loose from a Magnetix building set. Some Magnetix sets were recalled after Kenny’s death, but the toy still remains in stores. The company has added a warning label and made some manufacturing changes.

Playskool recalls Team Talkin’ Tool Benches After Deaths

October 2006 E Alert Playskool, in conjunction with the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, voluntarily recalled 250,000 of its Team Talkin’ Tool Benches after the choking deaths of two toddlers. The plastic nails sold with the benches became forcefully lodged in their throats.

Shopping cart safety questioned by pediatricians

September 2006 E Alert A Committee of the American Academy of Pediatricians has released a report that urges parents to avoid putting children in shopping carts until news standards are in place to reduce the likelihood to tipovers and falls.

Unstable designs and a high center of gravity add to the number of falls and tip-overs. AAP recommends parents either avoid putting a child in the cart or use one with the child closer to the ground, such as those shaped like cars or trucks. Other alternatives for parents as they shop include:

  • have another adult accompany you to the store to watch the child,
  • put the child in a stroller or wagon,
  • shop at stores that have supervised play areas for children
  • or have the child walk alongside you.

If there is no alternative to a cart, never allow a child to stand in the cart or ride anywhere on the cart but in the seat with a safety belt. The AAP report showed that when store greeters remind parents to use the safety belt, most do. Click here for the AAP Parent Page on Shopping Carts.

The AAP points to the need for stronger safety standards for carts to prevent injuries.

Hal Stratton Resigns as CPSC Chairman

July 2006 E Alert Hal Stratton announced his resignation as of July 15, 2006, just months before his term expires in October. Vice-Chairman Nancy Nord will assume the Chair’s responsibilities on an interim basis. If she is appointed as Chairman as expected, her position must be filled by January 15, 2007 to allow CPSC to continue to take action as a Commission.

More injuries reported from popular magnetic toy

March 2006 E Alert The public health agency of Seattle and King County, Washington, along with Children’s Hospital and Regional Medical Center issued a warning after a second child was hospitalized there after ingesting tiny magnets from a popular toy building set, Magnetix. A child died last year when the magnets connected and obstructed his intestines. TV station KOMO in Seattle also reported on a third child who had emergency surgery last year to remove the toy’s tiny, but powerful, magnets from his intestines. CPSC is investigating the toy. In the meantime, because the small magnets can come loose from their plastic casing and lie unnoticed by adults, KID would urge the toy not be used in any households with young children who still mouth objects, even if the toy is intended for an older sibling.

Update! The CPSC has recalled 3.8 million Magnetix toy sets. In addition to the death, CPSC reports 34 incidents including four serious injuries involving surgery. Toys can be returned to Rose Art for a replacement product.

Record crib recalls in 2005: KID annual recall report

March 2006 There were 123 children’s products recalled in 2005, according to KID’s recent report, Dangers at Play: Children’s Product Recalls in 2005. A record number of cribs were recalled, including the Simplicy Aspen 3 in 1 Crib, sold under the Graco logo, that led to the death of a 19-month-old Oregon baby this January. Read more.

CPSA pending in Colorado and Wisconsin

January 2006 E Alert The Children’s Product Safety Act, law in seven states, has now been introduced in Wisconsin and Colorado as well.

Senator Julie Lassa has introduced SB 454 in Wisconsin and it has been assigned to the House Committee on Job Creation, Economic Development and Consumer Affairs. It has not yet been scheduled for a committee hearing. If you live in Wisconsin, ask Committee Chair Theodore Kanavas that this important bill be heard this year in Wisconsin. In March 2003, a Wisconsin child died in a recalled portable crib.

In Colorado, Representative Gwyn Green has introduced HB 1126 which has been assigned to the House Health and Human Services Committee and will be heard in early February. KID’s co-founder, Linda Ginzel, will be testifying on the bill.

If you live in either of these states, ask your state legislators to support this important legislation.

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