Song of Woe on Toys That Kill
blurb: The government is beaming crooner Tom Paxton into your home to warn
you about dangerous toys.
No one is more serious about getting rid of dangerous products
than the Consumer Product Safety Commission, which recently
enlisted singer/songwriter Tom Paxton to guest star in a public
awareness campaign on hazardous toys. CPSC says that nearly
50 million dangerous toys are still in use because the message to
throw these toys into the trash isn't getting through to parents.
Getting toys recalled by the manufacturer and off the store
shelves is hard enough but getting them out of people's closets
or toy chests is tougher, according to the federal agency.
CPSC is releasing a list of dangerous recalled products
encompassing a total of nearly 50,000,000 toys in circulation
that parents might already own, or have recently brought into
their homes over the holidays. In addition, CPSC released a TV
public service announcement featuring 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
Parents can get the complete list by going to the CPSC website,
www.cpsc.gov, or calling toll free, 1-800-638-2772. Among the
"Dangerous Dozen" are toys distributed in fast food restaurants
and toy stores. They include:
"Pokemon Balls" (25 million) distributed in Burger King kids
meals in November and December, 1999, may pose a suffocation risk
and other hazards to children under 3 years of age. 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. Take
the "Pokemon Balls" (including the clip) away from children and
discard the ball or return both halves to a Burger King
restaurant for a free small order of french fries.�
"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 knows of an
18-month-old child who died after becoming entangled. Remove and
throw away nets.
"Sky Dancers Flying Dolls" (8.9 million) sold from 1994 through
2000 can take off in unpredictable directions and hit and injure
both children and adults. 170 reports of the dolls striking
children and adults resulted in 150 reports of injuries,
including eye injuries, broken teeth, a mild concussion, a broken
rib, and facial lacerations.
Tips on identifying these toys and more hazardous toys are listed on the CPSC
web site at www.cpsc.gov.�
The following consumer tips will help you weed through your
existing toys and purchase appropriate toys in the future:
1 - 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.
Sources used to create this article include Consumer Product Safety
2 - For infants, toddlers, and all children who still mouth
objects, avoid toys with small parts which could pose a fatal
3 - Look for sturdy construction, such as tightly secured eyes,
noses, and other potential small parts.
4 - For all children under age 8, avoid toys that have sharp
edges and points.
5 - Do not purchase electric toys with heating elements for
children under age 8.
6 - Be a label reader. Look for labels that give age
recommendations and use that information as a guide.
7 - Check instructions for clarity. They should be clear to you,
and when appropriate, to the child.
8 - Immediately discard plastic wrappings on toys, which can
cause suffocation, before they become deadly playthings.