Archive for the ‘Safety’ Category

Kevin Stanton, Imortalized as a Bouncy House Victim

 

I came across this funny image today. I believe it is related to the story I posted some time ago about a bouncy house incident.

Via Tosh.0

Toy Recall: Frog Mask

recalled frog mask
Recalled Frog Mask

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has announced a voluntary recall of children’s frog masks sold at Target stores due to a suffocation hazard. Consumers should stop using the mask immediately. About 3,400 masks were distributed and are being recalled.

The plush frog masks lack proper ventilation and, when worn secured in place across a child’s face, it presents a suffocation hazard. There have been no incidents or injuries reported.

The mask being recalled is a green frog-themed mask with yellow and red highlights. There are two eye holes and an elastic band meant to secure the mask around the back of the child’s head. The label includes the UPC code 06626491474.

Consumers should immediately take the mask from young children and return the product to any Target store for a full refund.

For additional information, contact Target Guest Relations at (800) 440-0680 between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. CT Monday through Friday, or visit the firm’s website at www.target.com

 

 

Toy Recall: Radio Flyer Scoot ‘n Zoom

scoot-n-zoom
Radio Flyer Scoot ‘n Zoom

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with Radio Flyer, announced a voluntary recall of the Scoot ‘n Zoom children’s riding toy. Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed.

The toy can tip over while riding allowing children to fall forward. There have been reports of incidents where teeth were loosened or knocked out and chin lacerations requiring stitches.

The Scoot ‘n Zoom is red molded plastic with black wheels and measures 19 inches long, 11 inches wide and 13.5 inches tall. The riding toy’s model number 711 can be found molded on the underside of the toy. Units with a yellow UPC sticker underneath the product with model #711B are not recalled.

About 165,000 of these toys were sold at Walmart and other retailers, and online at Amazon.com and Target.com from August 2010 through August 2011 for about $20.

Consumers should immediately take the recalled products away from children and contact Radio Flyer to receive a free replacement unit or refund. For additional information, contact Radio Flyer at (800) 621-7613 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. CT Monday through Friday, or visit the company’s website at www.radioflyer.com.

Radio Flyer Recall info
Where to locate the product number on the Scoot ‘n Zoom

 

 

 

Toy Recall: Fisher-Price Little People Builders’ Load ‘n Go Wagons

Little People Wagon
Recalled Little People Wagon

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and Health Canada, in cooperation with Fisher-Price have voluntarily recalled the Fisher Price Little People Builders’ Load ‘n Go Wagon model number P8977. Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately. It is illegal to resell or attempt to resell a recalled consumer product.

About 208,000 of these have been sold in the United States and 2,800 in Canada

The back of the wagon’s plastic handle has molded-in reinforcement. This design adds stiffness and facilitates children gripping the handle, but poses a laceration hazard if a child falls on it.

There are seven reports of injuries, including five reports of children requiring surgical glue or stitches.

The model number is located on the bottom of the wagon. “Little People® Builders” is found on a label on the side of the wagon and “Fisher Price” is embossed on the handle. Wagons with green handles are not included in this recall. They were sold at mass merchandise retail stores nationwide from June 2009 through July 2011 for about $25.

Consumers should immediately take the recalled wagons away from children and contact Fisher-Price for instructions on how to obtain a free repair kit. For additional information, contact Fisher-Price at (800) 432-5437 between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. ET Monday through Friday or visit the firm’s website at www.service.mattel.com

 

Toy Recall: Disney Pogo Sticks

disney pogo stick

Disney-branded pogo sticks

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with Bravo Sports has recalled about 160,000 Pogo Sticks, made for Disney. The sticks have a rubber bottom that can wear down prematurely and cause the user to lose balance and fall. Also the end caps on the handlebars can come off, exposing sharp edges.

Bravo and CPSC have received 82 reports of the bottom tip wearing out on the pogo sticks, including five reports of injuries. A 9-year-old girl suffered a skull fracture and chipped a tooth. Another 9-year-old girl cut her lip and chin, requiring stitches. Other injuries included scrapes, hits to the head and teeth pushed in.

This recall includes pogo sticks in various colors. The models included in this recall are the Disney Hannah Montana Pogo Stick, the Disney/Pixar Toy Story Cruising Cool Pogo Stick, the Disney/Pixar Cars Pogo Stick, the Disney Princess Pogo Stick and the Disney Fairies Cruising Cool Pogo Stick. The pogo sticks have Disney labels between the handlebars. The manufacturing date codes between 01/01/2009-022CO and 11/30/2010-022CO are on a clear label on the stem of the pogo stick near the foot pedals.

They were sold at: Burlington Coat Factory, Kmart, Kohls.com, Target and Toys R Us from February 2009 through June 2011 for about $20.

Consumers are advised to stop using the pogo stick immediately and contact Bravo Sports at (855) 469-3429 between 7:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. PT for a full refund.

 

Toy Recall: Build a Bear Lapel Pin

build-a-bear pin
Love. Hugs. Peace. lapel pin

The U.S.Consumer Product Safety Commission and Health Canada, in cooperation with Build-A-Bear Workshop, voluntarily recalled about 26,500 Love. Hugs. Peace lapel pins in the U.S. and another 2,200 in Canada. Surface paints on the lapel pin contain excessive levels of lead, which is prohibited under federal law. No injuries have been reported.

They were sold by Build-A-Bear Workshop stores nationwide and online at www.buildabear.com from July 2009 through October 2010. Consumers should return the lapel pin to any Build-A-Bear Workshop store to receive a $5 store coupon or, if that’s not possible, contact the company for alternate instructions on receiving a refund.

 

 

Recalled Toy: B. FunKeys

Recalled B. FunKeys

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and Health Canada, in cooperation with Battat Inc., voluntarily recalled about 1,080,000 toy keys with remote in the U.S., and 3,600 in Canada.

CPSC and Battat have received 17 reports of keys breaking, and 14 reports of key rings breaking, posing a choking hazard. No injuries have been reported.

The recall includes all B. FunKeys with factory code H58000-01 or H26300-01, sold at retailers nationwide and online sellers from April 2010 to May 2011, and Parents Magazine Electronic Keys with factory code H26300-01, sold January 2006 to December 2009.

Battat has a statement here.

Consumers should take the recalled toy keys away from children and contact Battat to receive replacement keys.

Bounce House goes Airborne in New York


Yesterday, June 5, 2011, a heavy gust of wind suddenly picked up three inflatable bounce houses at a soccer event at the Oceanside United Soccer Club in Long Island, NY. There were children inside at the time and 13 people were injured, none seriously.

One bouncy house was lifted completely off the ground and became airborne. That one (shown in the video) seems to be a slide and not a house, so there probably weren’t any kids on it when it lifted off, although they were probably thrown off when the gust hit. Some people on the ground were struck by the floating, rolling houses.

There were no criminal charges filed.

It seems to me that if these houses had been properly anchored, this incident wouldn’t have happened.

Check out the video of the incident, then scroll down for some bounce house safety information.

If you or your organization is planning on having bounce houses at your event, following are some safety tips from the Safe Inflatable Operators Training Organization that you will want to follow.

Before signing a contract for bounce houses ask the following questions:

  • Are they insured? Get a copy of their insurance certificate.
  • Are they trained and how much experience do they have with inflatable rides?
  • What safety measures do they provide?

Once they arrive and as they are setting up check for the following to be sure it is done properly:

  • A tarp should be placed on the ground to protect the bottom of the house from rocks and sharp objects so it won’t deflate while children are playing on it.
  • The house should be staked down or heavily weighted with weights or sandbags.
  • Once inflated, check for rips or holes and general wear-and-tear. Has the house been patched many times?
  • Make sure the house is fully inflated and not sagging anywhere.
  • Be sure the operator goes over all operating and safety procedures verbally and leaves a printed copy. Ask questions if you don’t understand anything.

Once the operator has set up the unit and leaves be sure to:

  • Have someone attending the house at all times.
  • Children ages 3 and under should not be allowed on the ride.
  • Group children according to size. Big kids should not bounce with 5-year-olds.
  • Do not exceed the maximum ride capacity.
  • Perform safety checks frequently.
  • Turn the unit off during inclement weather or high winds.
  • Seek medical attention for any injuries that do occur.
  • Follow all rules left by the ride operator.

Parents at events and amusement parks should follow these safety tips:

  • Make sure you child only rides with other children of his/her size.
  • Be sure there aren’t already too many children on the ride. Get your child out if it becomes too crowded.
  • Always watch your child while on the ride. Accidents can happen in a split second.
  • Get your child off the ride if they seem to be getting tired. Sitting children are much more at risk of being jumped on by another child.
  • Be aware of all the safety rules.
  • Make sure someone is always supervising the bounce house and watching the activities inside.
  • If a bounce house does collapse, remove all the children immediately.

CNN Via Gizmodo

Play it Safe this 4th of July

PLAY IT SAFE THIS 4TH OF JULY

Fireworks originated in China during the Sung dynasty, from 960 to 1279, when a cook discovered that a mixture of sulphur, saltpetre, and charcoal was highly flammable (I bet that was an interesting mealtime). Today’s fireworks are made colorful by combining potassium chlorate and various metallic salts which produce may colors. Strontium burns red, copper blue, barium glows green, and sodium produces yellow. Magnesium, aluminium, and titanium give off white sparkles or a flash.

As the Fourth of July holiday comes closer, most families will go to big community fireworks displays, which are performed by professionals that take many precautions to assure safety.

Some families will have their own backyard festivities with store-bought fireworks. Unfortunately, many will not take the safety precautions that the pros do.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that in 2004 (latest figures available) about 9,600 people were treated in hospital emergency rooms for fireworks injuries. Over half were burns and most involved the hands, eyes, and head. About half of the victims were under 15 years of age.

Small children are especially vulnerable because they are attracted to the bright colors of fireworks, but don’t understand the danger. This includes “safe” fireworks such as sparklers, which burn at between 1832º – 3632º Fahrenheit. Yikes!

In 2005 fireworks caused an estimated 1,800 structure fires and 700 vehicle fires.

Following are some fireworks safety tips to keep kids safe this holiday and all summer

  • Only adults should handle fireworks. Tell children that they should leave the area immediately if their friends are using fireworks.
  • Sparklers, generally considered safe for the young, burn at very high temperatures and can easily ignite clothing.
  • Older children should only be permitted to use fireworks under close adult supervision. Do not allow any running or horseplay.
  • Discuss safety procedures with your children. Teach children "stop, drop and roll" if their clothes catch fire. Make sure they know how to call 9-1-1. Show them how to put out fireworks by using water or a fire extinguisher.
  • Read labels and carefully follow directions. All fireworks must carry a warning label describing necessary safety precautions. If they don’t have the label, don’t use them.
  • Never use fireworks indoors.
  • Be sure spectators are out of range before lighting fireworks.
  • Never aim or throw fireworks at another person.
  • Never place your face or any other body part over fireworks (eye protection is recommended).
  • Never try to re-ignite fireworks that malfunction. Throw them away.
  • Keep a bucket of water nearby for emergencies and for pouring on fireworks that don’t go off.
  • Never carry fireworks in your pocket.
  • Only light fireworks on a smooth, flat surface away from the house, dry leaves, and flammable materials.
  • Check for drought conditions in your area. During those times, fireworks are usually banned completely.
  • Keep unused fireworks away from firing areas.
  • Store fireworks in a dry, cool place. Check instructions for special storage directions.
  • Observe local laws.
  • Don’t experiment with homemade fireworks.
  • Be considerate of your neighbors and stop your celebrations by 10:00 p.m.
  • Clean up all the sticks, wires, tubes, etc. that are left around after your fireworks. Put them in a bucket of water and let them soak overnight to be sure they are out.
  • Many pets are terrorized by fireworks. Be sure your dogs and cats are in an area they feel secure in. Don’t take them to community fireworks displays.
  • Use common sense.
  • Even by following these tips, fireworks can still be quite dangerous. Use safe alternatives to fireworks such as Cap bombs, Sparklers, Party Poppers, Snappers, or Big-Bang Cannons (shameless plug).


This series of three images are from a Consumer Products Safety Commission fireworks safety demonstration using manequins illustrating a scene in an incident where a man and his nephew were killed as they removed powder from fireworks bought in New Hampshire to create larger, more powerful and illegal fireworks, in Washington, Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Big Bang Cannons are the only safe substitute for fireworks. They were originally created because the inventor was concerned about the large amounts of injuries from fireworks.
Big Bang Cannons create a loud "bang" by imploding, Once the gas in the cannon ignites, it draws air back into the cannon, creating a noise as loud as fireworks. This makes them very safe because you cannot place anything in the barrel and expel it (that would only inhibit the combustion). They also do not use gunpowder or matches, instead using Bangsite as fuel. Bangsite is not combustible and cannot be ignited by fire or concussion (you can see why they are so safe). Because of these safety features, Big Bang Cannons can be fired by older children with adult supervision (follow all safety precautions). They are also quite loud and are certainly a great substitute for fireworks. Perfect for your 4th of July celebration!

This article is available for re-print here

Toy Tazer is Not What it Seemed.

shock tazer stun gun toy
The Shock Tazer Toy on my desk

In my previous post about the shock toy Tazer, I made a point that I thought a toy that you could go around shocking people with was inaproppriate. It seemed from the description on Gozmodo and other sites that you pressed it against someone and they received a shock.

Well, I decided to order the Shock Tazer and it arrived yesterday.

I was in for a shock. Literally.

The shock toy tazer does not shock people at the tips of the toy as a real Tazer does. Instead it’s a trick. The person that pushes the button is the one that gets the shock. Just like dozens of other shock toys on the market.

Yes, I found this out the hard way. I opened it up and my first though was "I wonder if there are batteries in it already". There were. I pressed the button thinking I might tap the contacts to see if I got a quick shock. But pressing the button is what gives you the shock. I got zapped.

Last evening I left the Shock Tazer toy on the kitchen table and my 18 year old son apparently tried it too. He didn’t tell me about it until much later.

Now, the next question I have about the shocking toy tazer is "How on earth do they sell this thing for $3.50, ship it free from China, and even include batteries?"

Incidentally, Tazers don’t work this way. They shoot out darts with wire leads on them. The better term would be "stun gun".

The shock toy is available at Focalprice for $3.40 with free shipping.

Toy Tazer: Not a cool toy

toy tazer
Toy Tazer

My first thought when I saw this is "could this possibly be a real toy?" The answer is still a bit unclear.

The "Police Electric Baton Shock/Tricky Toy with Flashlight" is certainly being offered for sale and once I finally tracked down the site where it is for sale they do say that it is an adult toy and not for children or elders, although they do call it a "toy". It delivers 3.6V per shot by touching the baton to your victim’s skin and pressing the shock button at the same time. It also has a built in flashlight which you activate with a different button which is "safe to use if you don’t touch the shock button".

Just because a toy is labeled for adults only doesn’t mean that children won’t purchase or play with them. So if children play with a toy Tazer is this a problem? There are certainly plenty of toys on the market that deliver a shock. My kids had the Lightning Reaction game which shocks the players that are too slow on the draw. When I was a child, I had a shocking lighter
that I tricked friends with all the time. It was eventually stolen by a workman who picked it up and thought it was a real lighter and was made fun of by his friends.

And all these "shocking" games have a lineage that goes back to the original “Surprise Hand Buzzer” which didn’t actually deliver a shock, but which most kids probably wished that it did. Surprisingly it doesn’t seem as if anyone has actually created a true shocking hand buzzer yet.

But there’s a difference between tricking friends to pick up a shocking lighter or pen or playing a game that you know might deliver a shock and "Tazing" someone deliberately. There’s also an issue with the similarity between this toy and a real Tazer that blurs the lines for children a bit too much. But the argument could be made that it’s certainly not as bad as children having toy guns.

My opinion is that it’s just a bit too distasteful and doesnt’ feel right to jokingly taze people, even for adults. Maybe especially for adults.

The Police Electric Baton is available at Focalprice for only $3.40 with free shipping, which seems awfully cheap. Focalprice seems to be a dropshipper located in China and not really meant for consumers, although they do sell one item at a time and still offer free shipping. They mostly sell cell phone accessories and novelties.

Via Gizmodo

Holiday Toy Safety Tips from the CPSC

warning label
My favorite warning label

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has released some safety tips to help prevent toy-related injuries this holiday season.

This past year the CPSC has established new toy safety standards that limit lead content to the lowest levels world-wide, limit phthalates, and setting new testing standards. While these standards have been burdensome to small toy manufacturers, they have dramatically reduced toy recalls a quite a bit (there were 44 in 2010, 50 in 2009, and 172 in 2008.

The CPSC’s "three-pronged safety approach" for parents is:

1. Which Toy for Which Child – Always choose age appropriate toys.

2. Gear Up for Safety – Include safety gear whenever shopping for sports-related gifts or ride-on toys, including bicycles, skates, and scooters.

3. Location, Location, Location – Be aware of your child’s surroundings during play. Young children should avoid playing with ride-on toys near automobile traffic, pools or ponds. They also should avoid playing in indoor areas associated with hazards such as kitchens and bathrooms and in rooms with corded window blinds.

Some other safety tips from the CPSC and other sources are:

For children younger than three, avoid toys with any small parts, which can cause choking if eaten. Keep older sibling’s toys away from small children. Small magnets can be particularly dangerous if ingested, because they can connect across the digestive tract causing blockages.

Immediately discard plastic wrap and other packaging material

Batteries should be charged by adults or supervised by adults with older children. Chargers and adapters can get very hot and pose a burn hazard. Also be sure to monitor charging batteries because some charges do not have the ability to prevent overcharging.

Surprisingly, balloons can be particularly dangerous with small children, who can choke or suffocate on deflated or broken pieces. Discard broken balloons immediately.

Toy caps, noisy guns, Big Bang Cannons, and other similar toys can produce noise at levels that can damage hearing. Be sure to read all directions and warnings and use them only outdoors when cautioned.

Toys that propell projectiles can be turned into weapons by children and can cause eye injury.

Check all toys periodically for breakage, wear, or sharp edges that may be dangerous. Check all electric toys for wear and exposed wires. Throw away all damaged toys immediately.

Lastly, look for quality design and construction in all your toy purchases. This is something that Dave’s Cool Toys is all to familiar with (shameless plug). While parents should certainly evaluate all toy purchases for their children, we have spent much time reviewing each toy we sell prior to offering it for purchase to be sure it is well-built and of quality design and manufacture.

For more information on toy safety check out A Parents’ Guide To Selecting Toys For Infants And Toddlers or Toys That Kill
. And for an interesting look at how Safety concerns have changed childen’s toys, take a look at Good Toys, Bad Toys
.

Jakks Pacific Recalls Spa Kit (again)

Jakks Pacific Spa Factory Aromatherapy Fountain & Bath Benefits Kits

You buy an aromatherapy kit for your child.

You may be concerned about allergic reactions, or kids getting the substances in their eyes.

One thing that probably wouldn’t enter your mind would be the possibility that the jars might unexpectedly explode.

But that was the case with the Jakks Pacific Spa Factory Aromatherapy Fountain & Bath Benefits Kits.

This product was originally recalled in January, 2009. At that time there were 88 reports of exploding jars resulting in 13 injuries to children. Since that recall, the US Consumer Product Safety Commission has received 12 additional reports of exploding jars and 13 injuries.

The problem is that carbon dioxide can build up in the jars, causing the unvented lids to blow off, becoming a projectile. In addition, when water mixes with the bath fizzies it can create citric acid, which can burn eyes when the jars explode.

I found these kits available on Amazon . I would expect that the kits that are still for sale have new lids that won’t explode, but you never know, so if you purchase them you should inspect them immediately.

If you own this product you should immediately take all jars away from children and carefully unscrew the lids to prevent the buildup of pressure. Contact JAKKS Pacific at 877-875-2557 to receive free replacement jars with vent holes.

Do Bouncy Castles Pose a Health Risk (Other Than the Obvious Ones)

My Dream Home

The next time you rent a Bouncy Castle for your kids party, you may be getting something a little extra… lead poisoning.

OK That’s a bit extreme.

The New York Times reports that the California Attorney General has filed a lawsuit that claims that some, if not all, of the rented inflatable houses, castles, and amusements contain unsafe levels of lead in the vinyl they are made from.

An investigation by the Center for Environmental Health, in Oakland, tested several dozen houses and found that they contained between 5,000 and 29,000 parts per million of lead. Those measurements are way above the federal limit of 90 to 300 parts per million.

Robert Field, a defendant in the suit, and senior vice president of Cutting Edge Creations argues that the suit could put thousands of small-business owners that rent the inflatable fun-houses out of business, hurting California’s economy.

OK. His argument is "let us continue to rent party toys that have thousands of times the legal limit of a harmful substance because the economy is bad and you should ignore the problem for financial reasons".

The suit and investigation did not include Bouncy Castles sold to consumers. These should fall under the US Consumer Product Safety Commission and require testing prior to being sold. I only found one recall which was for a problem with the fan housing breaking and one alert in which children were bouncing out of a Playskool Moon Bouncer due to overinflation.

What is a parent to do if you want to rent a Bouncy Castle? One spokesman for the Center for Environmental Health recommends that parents should have wet-wipes available and children should wipe their exposed body parts (hands, feet, face) after bouncing to reduce the risk.

UNcool Toy of the Day: Bazai Falls Original Water Slide

Banzai Falls Original Water Slide

I’ve blogged previously about the Banzai Waterpark and their deceptive advertising.

Today I came across some reviews of the Banzai Falls Original Water Slide.

First of all, let me say that the manufacturer’s images seem to me to be deceptive. I will let you decide, though. Check out their images and those of customers posted here.

It seems like this category of toys is notorious for at least somewhat deceptive photos of their products.

Customer reviews on Amazon and elsewhere bring up another problem with the slide… durability. Some customers had seams ripping out almost immediately, others found that by the second summer, the liner had crumbled and it would no longer hold air. One customer got about 2 hours of use out of the slide before it was shot. Reports include the water hose popping open at the seam, seams coming undone, footholds ripping around the edges,

A more accurate photo of Banzai Water Slide

One customer pointed out that the splash-down pool at the bottom of the slide was far too short and that the kids keeps hitting the edge, sometimes going over it.

The slide carries a 200 lb. weight limit. Users must be careful that this limit is not per child, but overall, so that kids must climb and slide entirely one at a time to avoid going over the limit on the inflatable hilltop.

Reviews almost always said that it was a great item that the kids loved while it lasted. Even though it may not be quite as big as implied by their product shot, it certainly looks fun. But you would have to be prepared for the fact that it may only last a few days or weeks. One summer at the most.

Banzai Falls Original Water Slide lists for $379.00. Oddly enough, between the time I began writing this review and the time I posted it, Amazon no longer had this item available. It wasn’t sold-out, just gone along with all the bad reviews.

Two more user images of the slide

Dave’s Cool Toys Blog
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Be sure to check out our toys at Dave's Cool Toys. We work hard to find toys you won't find at the big box stores. Now go out and play!

Dave Ference

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