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Safety regulators listtop 10 dangerous toys

/ Source: The Associated Press

A reminder from the government: check those holiday shopping lists to make sure no recalled children’s toys are on them.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission compiled its annual top 10 list of children’s product safety recalls to coincide with the start of the holiday shopping season.

The toys should all be off store shelves. The commission worries that people who did their shopping early might have gifts stashed under the bed that have since been recalled.

All the products were recalled in the past year, the commission said. A Nerf football and a Batmobile toy car were among some of the items on the list being released Monday.

The agency received reports of 11 toy-related deaths in 2003 involving children under age 15, down from 13 reported deaths in 2002. Almost half the deaths involved small toy balls that children choked on.

The agency also is launching Neighborhood Safety Network, a Web-based grass-roots effort to help spread the word about safety recalls to consumers who may be harder to reach.

CPSC Chairman Hal Stratton said the network will put lifesaving information into the hands of people who need it most. “These messages are posted and passed on in Boys and Girls Clubs, American Indian reservations, fire houses and housing projects,” he said.

The top 10 list of children’s product safety recalls:

—398,000 Bumble Bee toys distributed by Graco Children’s Products. Graco received 26 reports of antennae breaking off the toys, including five reports of children who started to choke on the broken parts.

—294,000 Nerf Big Play Footballs distributed by Hasbro. The football contains a hard plastic interior frame that can pose a risk of facial cuts. Nine incidents of facial injuries have been reported, including eight that required stitches or medical attention.

—225,000 Carter’s children’s mirror books distributed by Kids II Inc. The mirror in the books can crack or break, posing a laceration hazard to children. Kids II has received 26 reports of mirrors cracking or breaking, including four reports of cuts.

—314,000 Batman Batmobile toy vehicles distributed by Mattel Inc. The rear tail wings of the Batmobile are made of rigid plastic and come to a point, posing a potential puncture or laceration hazard. Mattel has received 14 reports of injuries.

—300,000 “Rock ’N Roller” baby strollers distributed by Dorel Juvenile Group USA. If the stop pins are bent or missing or the seat is not fully attached, the seat can become partially detached from the frame, and the infant could be hurt in a fall. Injuries included one child who fell and had a slight concussion; another cut his forehead and required stitches. There also were 46 reports of bumps and bruises.

—287,000 radio-controlled toy trucks distributed by Nikko America Inc. A problem with the circuit board causes the truck to overheat, posing a potential fire and burn hazard. No injuries have been reported.

—70,000 ride-on toy trucks distributed by Tek Nek Toys International. The screw and nut assembly that attaches the steering wheel can come loose and pose a choking hazard. Tek Nek Toys has received six reports of the screw and nut coming loose, including the death of an 18-month-old.

—441,000 children’s athletic shoes distributed by Payless ShoeSource Inc. The metal eyelet lace holder at the top of the shoes can detach and pose a choking hazard. Payless ShoeSource has received one report of a child starting to choke on a detached eyelet. No injuries have been reported.

—150 million pieces of metal toy jewelry by importers AA Global Industries Inc., Brand Imports, Cardinal Distributing Co. and L.M. Becker & Co. Inc. Some of the jewelry, sold in vending machines, contains dangerous levels of lead. CPSC has received one report of lead poisoning in which a child swallowed a piece of toy jewelry that had been recalled.

—140,000 Allen Iverson toddler’s athletic shoes distributed by Reebok International. The I-3 logo-tag on the tongue of the shoe can be peeled off and pose a choking hazard. Reebok has received a report of an 8-month-old child putting the logo-tag into its mouth, but it was removed without injury.