On August 5, 2010 the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced a recall of Little People Play ‘n Go Campsite toy. The importer, Fisher-Price, of East Aurora, N.Y., sold about 96,000 units in the United States. The recall involved the Little People Play ‘n Go Campsite, a seven-piece plastic play set includes Sonya Lee, a tent and other accessories The small parts hazard identified is associated with the plastic “Sonya Lee” figure in the play set, which can break at the waist, exposing small parts.
Small parts on toys have been a perpetual, often deadly, and shockingly overlooked hazard. Over the years, many toys have been recalled because of easily detachable small parts, or affixed small parts that can be mouthed and occlude a child’s airway. According to the CPSC, in 2007 and 2008, ten (10) children died when they choked on or aspirated a toy. Many consumers shop under the false pretense that toys bought from big-name manufacturers and retailers are not dangerous. In fact, seeing a familiar name on a package can lead to a false sense of security that the toy enclosed is safe.
Many toys on toy store shelves may not violate any industry or regulatory standards but are clearly dangerous, proving the gross inadequacy of existing standards. For instance, toys with parts that can detach and become lodged in a child’s throat are often not considered “small parts” by the industry. Young oral age children are at risk when they break off pieces of shoddily made or inadequately designed toys. These hidden hazards have led to many incidents of deaths and brain damage yet can still be found in newly designed toys.