With the holiday season around the corner, the Illinois attorney general’s office and consumer advocacy groups are urging parents to be on guard when shopping for toys online as some can lead to choking and suffocation.
Attorney General Kwame Raoul released his annual safe shopping guide listing 34 products recalled by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, including toys, rocking seats, inclined infant sleepers and children’s clothing that can be flammable.
According to Chicago-based advocacy group Kids in Danger, there have been 53 children’s products recalled so far this year. In 2019, there were 58 recalls.
Consumer advocacy groups are encouraging parents to look out for toys and children’s products that could pose choking hazards or cause hearing damage, as well as high-powered magnets that can be deadly for younger children. Parents should also be wary of third party vendors that might be reselling recalled products online.
Dr. Elizabeth Powell, an emergency room physician at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, said choking injuries could rise as families are cooped up at home and younger children are playing with older siblings whose toys may not be suitable for them.
There were 38 deaths reported in the U.S. from children’s products recalled last year, the highest number of fatalities in nearly two decades, according to Kids in Danger. Inclined sleepers accounted for 37 of those deaths, and the other was the result of a furniture tipover.
Here are some toys to avoid this holiday season:
Light-Up Magic Wands from Toysmith
The star-topped wand’s battery cover can detach and expose the button-cell batteries, which can be a choking and ingestion hazard to young children. The toy was sold at Carter’s stores and various toy, grocery, hobby and gift retailers nationwide from June 2018 through October 2019. Consumers who bought the product can reach Toysmith at 800-356-0474 between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, by email at email@example.com or by visiting toysmith.com.
Bead Maze Toys from Juratoys
The toy was recalled Feb. 6 because the wooden triangle piece is too small under federal standards for small parts, and poses a choking hazard. Sophie la Giraffe Bead Maze was sold at specialty toy and gift stores nationwide from February 2019 to November 2019. Consumers who purchased the toy can reach Juratoys US at 855-665-9287 between 7:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or online at juratoysus.com.
Children’s grocery shopping carts from Step2
Because the shopping cart’s basket can break into sharp pieces, the product was recalled Feb. 27 for the risk of cuts. The children’s grocery shopping cart was sold at Step2.com, BJ Wholesale Club, Kohl’s and other stores nationwide from May 2019 through October 2019. Consumers can contact Step2 for a free replacement at 800-347-8372 from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday or online at step2.com.
Grizzly Industrial’s children’s tool kits
The tool kit contains excessive levels of lead, including the tool belt, hammer and suspenders. It was recalled March 19. The product was sold at Grizzly Industrial’s showrooms nationwide, grizzly.com and Amazon from September 2002 through November 2019. The company is contacting all known purchasers directly to notify them of the recall. Consumers can contact Grizzly Industrial at 888-615-7944, by email at email@example.com or by visiting grizzly.com.
Musical Lili Llama from Manhattan Toy
The musical llama toy was recalled April 2 as a choking hazard because the screws used to attach the spinning flowers can become loose and fall off. The toy was sold at toy stores nationwide, Amazon, manhattantoy.com and other toy websites from October 2019 through February 2020. Consumers can contact Manhattan Toy at 800-541-1345 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8 a.m. to noon on Friday, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit manhattantoy.com.
Magnetic ball set Mag Cube from Sobeauty
If small children swallow the high-powered magnets, they can link together inside their intestines and clamp onto body tissues, which could cause intestinal obstructions, perforations, sepsis and death. The magnet ball set was sold online through Walmart’s website from March 2018 through December 2019. Consumers can contact Sobeauty to return the product and receive a full refund, including taxes and shipping costs, at 844-946-7437 or by email at email@example.com.
Manhattan Ball from Manhattan Toy
The plastic orbital-shaped toy was recalled July 22 because its plastic tubes, which contain small silicone teethers, can detach from the center ball and pose a choking hazard to young children. The toy was sold at Target stores nationwide and online from July 2019 through June 2020. Consumers can contact the company at 800-541-1345 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit manhattantoy.com. The toy can also be returned to any Target store for a full refund.
Plush Aflac Doctor Duck
The 6-inch plush animal from insurer Aflac’s subsidiary Communicorp contains levels of lead that exceed the federal limit for lead content. Consumers should throw away the duck, which was recalled Aug. 26.
The company is directly contacting Aflac employees and licensed agents who purchased the duck. People can call Communicorp at 800-642-3522 from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, or visit https://communicorp.com.
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