updated 5/17/2010 2:52:46 PM ET 2010-05-17T18:52:46

The asphyxiation deaths of two boys prompted the government Monday to announce the recall of 1.8 million toy dart gun sets.

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The Consumer Product Safety Commission said a 9-year-old boy in Chicago and a 10-year-old boy in Milwaukee died after they chewed on the one-inch, soft-plastic darts, which slipped into their throats. The small suction cup part of the dart cut off their breathing.

The dart gun sets were sold nationwide at Family Dollar stores.

"We want parents to know about the risks to children during the preteen years that can come from aspirating these toy darts," warned CPSC Chairman Inez Tenenbaum.

The dart gun sets were imported by Henry Gordy International in New Jersey. CPSC says Henry Gordy refused to recall the dart set so Family Dollar Stores worked with the agency on recalling the product.

Henry Gordy International could not be reached for comment. A published number for the company has been disconnected.

Family Dollar, based just outside of Charlotte, N.C., said the company hasn't sold the dart sets in more than a year but agreed to the recall as a way to alert customers who purchased the product.

The "Auto Fire" toy dart set was sold exclusively at Family Dollar stores from September 2005 through January 2009 for about $1.50.

The orange darts measure just over an inch in length and have a small suction cup at one end with a diameter of about a-half inch. "Gordy Toy" is printed on the packaging.

The agency advises people to immediately take the dart gun sets from children and discard them. Family Dollar will offer a refund.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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