A toy is recalled when a factory defect or other problem presents a danger to children, even when it has only a remote chance of happening. No parent wants their child to be playing with a toy that could permanently injure or kill them. Unfortunately, they have to rely on product standards in place and trust that products they find on store shelves are safe.
With the countless recalls over the past two years, parents are becoming skeptical of the toys available since many of those toys have yet to be tested. Knowing what toys have been recalled for can help to identify possible threats to your children from the toys they currently have. Some of them might have a slim chance of actually happening and be a complete fluke, but they could happen.
10. Arm Entrapment
The occasional toy will have places a child’s limbs could get trapped and unable to be freed without injury. Activity centers are a potential threat depending on how they’re built. If they include tubes and tunnels, kids who shove their arm into them might find it harder to get it out. The Learn-Around™ Playground Activity Center was recalled two years ago for that reason.
9. Impalement or Puncture
This hazard is due to sharp objects on toys that could impale or puncture a child. The infamous lawn darts, or jarts, are an example of an impalement toy should they be thrown and actually hit a person, which is why they were banned in most countries. Some toys are fine until they come apart unexpectedly. Toy cars with metal axles could puncture children’s fingers if the wheels come off and they pick it up the wrong way. Lego recalled toy trucks for this reason in 2006.
8. Chemical Burn
It might sound like an odd hazard to be wary of unless your child has a chemistry set, but even then those shouldn’t be hazardous. The chemical burns come from leaking batteries already installed within a toy or the potential for batteries to leak when installed the wrong way. Batteries already within a toy are generally poor quality and one batteries should be installed by an adult.
The rage wireless guitar is one example of a recall due to the possible injury from batteries installed the wrong way. They would overheat and leak from the incorrect installation.
This is another hazard that will make people think how. How could a toy cause intestinal problems? Well, if a toy has tiny magnets, like the magnetic dart set, those magnets could fall off.
If a child swallows them, they might be small enough not to cause choking, but they could cause problems further down the road. Trying not to be too graphic here, if more than one tiny magnets are swallowed, they could attract each other inside the body. If they happen to attract each other with, lets say, the intestinal wall between them, that’s not good. The above mentioned toy had to be recalled early this year.
It might seem like the burn hazard would be associated with the fire hazard, well it is. Obviously you could get burns if a toy started on fire, but you could also get burns from touching a surface on the toy that has gotten really hot, usually from a battery or needing to be plugged in. The toy speed boats are one example of a toy recalled for getting hot under the collar.
Toys with moving parts could potentially lacerate children or toys that come part and expose sharp edges. Some penguin toy figures were recalled because they could come apart and expose just such a hazard.
Toys with moving blades could also lacerate children. One of the worst examples of that type of toy are the Sky Dancers flying dolls, with their spinning blades and helicopter-like action. You aren’t supposed to touch them while they are spinning, but I wouldn’t want one of them flying at me. Yeah, so recalled.
These toys have strings or cords that could potential to be accidentally wrapped around a child’s neck. The standard for any string or cords on a child’s toy is supposed to be 12 inches long. Some Earthentree wooden pull toys have been recalled for cords longer than the 12 inch standard. If you have a 12 inch army guy, strings and cords shouldn’t be taller than him.
It might be funny on the Simpsons when things just spontaneously combust, but this is NOT a situation to kill anything with fire. Any toys with electrical components could potentially start a fire and those are the ones that need to be used safely. Several remote controller helicopters and cars needed to be recalled because the battery pack would overheat and could have started fires.
Some toys are small(Micro Machines), some toys include small parts(action figure accessories) and some toys break apart into pieces(Lego) that could fit into a child’s mouth. Many children like to put things in their mouths and when swallowed, these toys get stuck in the throat and cause the child to choke. A recent example of this recall is the Ja Ru toy train.
However, if all it takes is toys to have small pieces that COULD be swallowed, why are they still allowed to make the extremely popular Lego toys? Just sayin.
1. Lead Paint
This is the king of reasons for toy recalls. If you haven’t heard of this toy recall hazard, you’ve “been living on Mars for the past decade. Under a rock in a cave. With your eyes shut and your fingers in your ears“. High lead paint levels on toys can cause developmental problems in children and can cause problems for adults as well. Too much lead is not good for you, but lead paint is used on toys because it’s cheap, simple as that.
The latest recall for excessive lead paint levels was the OKK Trading Army Figure toys, but don’t expect it to be the last recall for lead paint.
It’s Tough Being A Kid
Many of those hazards sound like something you would only hear about in relation to committed crimes. Parents need to keep an eye out for potential hazards. Kids don’t know any better when it comes to potential dangers and with the recent toy recalls, parents need to be aware of them more than ever.
Poor quality standards have put companies in a bad light and they’re going to have to work to gain the consumer’s trust again. It’s not just dollar and discount store toys, other companies and big name stores have had their share of recalls to, but some would argue that many toys have potential to harm if used incorrectly and parents should be supervising when their child plays with their toys anyway.
Do these toy recalls make you consider your toy purchases now or are some of the reasons for toy recalls a little ridiculous?
Posted on December 18th, 2008 by Mike
Filed under: Toy Recalls | 1 Comment »