Magnetic Toys Need Effective Warning Labels | DC Metro Area Personal Injury Law Blog

In a November 21, 2006 release, the U.S. Public Interest Research Group (U.S. PIRG) has called for warning labels on toys with magnets after more than 4 million Mattel, Inc. play sets were recalled due to injuries to several children who swallowed magnets that fell off.  The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), which announced the recall of magnetic Polly Pocket sets as the holiday gift-buying season begins, urged shoppers to avoid buying toy sets with small magnets for children under 6. The recall does not include Polly Pocket play sets now on store shelves, which were redesigned to make them safer, according to CPSC spokesperson, Scott Wolfson.  The CPSC received nearly 200 reports of the small magnets falling from Polly Pocket dolls and accessories. Three children swallowed more than one magnet and suffered intestinal perforation that required surgery.  U.S. PIRG said the CPSC should require labels on all magnetic toys warning parents to seek immediate medical help if their child has swallowed a magnet.

In its annual toy safety safety survey, U.S. PIRG researchers found toys with small parts for children under age 3, despite a government ban on the sale of these toys for that age group. They also found items for children under age 6 without the required choke hazard warning.  Wolfson said the government is “actively pursuing new voluntary standards” from toy makers. “That work is being pursued not at the mandatory level but the voluntary level right now,” he said.  Last March, another toy company, Mega Brands Inc., recalled 3.8 million Magnetix magnetic building sets after one child died and four others were seriously injured after swallowing tiny magnets in them.

For more information about the recall, please view the CPSC Release and the Mattel website. If you or a family member has suffered injuries in connection with a defective toy or other product, please contact us on-line at Regan Zambri & Long or call us at (202) 753-4272 for a free consultation.  If you would like to receive our electronic newsletter, please click here.