Tot Tower Block Recall Issued Due to Choking Hazard

Government regulators and eeBoo Corporation issued a voluntary recall for the toy maker’s Tot Tower blocks on Thursday, saying a plastic covering poses a choking hazard to children. New York-based eeBoo has received two reports of young children mouthing the plastic covering after it became detached from the block.  About 170,000 dangerous toys are being recalled. The blocks are the latest in a string of recalls of products manufactured in China that pose safety risks due to lead content, powerful magnets, or choking hazards.  The Tot Tower toys come in 10-block sets in various themes, including:  Things I Know New, Garden Fairies, Hardware Store, Around the Land, Read-To-Me, Animal Sounds, Animal Alphabet, ABC, and Nursery Friends. “Tot Towers” and “eeBoo Corporation” are printed on the products’ packaging.  The products have been sold at specialty and gift shops across the U.S. from January 2003 through September 2007 and retail for about $20.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and eeBoo advised consumers to immediately take the toys away from children and return them to the place of purchase for a full refund.  Consumers can also contact eeBoo Corp. directly to receive a replacement toy at (800) 791-5619 between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Eastern time, Monday through Friday.  eeBoo can also be visited at their Web site at

There were over 210,000 toy-related injuries treated in U.S. emergency rooms in 2005 according to the federal Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).  This year, the CPSC recalled 61 toys involving more than 25 million products; over six million toys have been recalled due to lead, the highest number ever due to product defects.  Lead is known to cause cancer and reproductive harm and can cause mental and physical retardation and behavioral and other health problems in children.  In adults, lead can damage the nervous system.  And while concern about lead in toys is a serious issue and has attracted a great deal of attention lately, it is only one of the potential dangers that toys may pose to children.

Look for labels that give age and safety recommendations and select toys to suit the child’s age, abilities, skills, and interest.  Look for sturdy construction.  No toys with sharp edges and points for children under eight, no small magnets for children under six—when swallowed, magnets can cause serious injuries and death—and no small parts for children under three.  Immediately discard plastic wrappings and keep older children’s toys away from young children.  Read instructions and warnings on battery chargers; some are unable prevent overcharging and can cause thermal burn hazards.  Riding toys, skateboards, and in-line skates go fast and falls could be deadly; safety gear should be sized to fit.  Projectile toys are for older children and can cause serious eye injuries.

Be aware of recalls, but remember that when recalls occur—although firms generally do take steps to remove products from the market—it is impossible to police toys sold at thrift stores, garage sales, and Internet auction sites.  A large variety of recalled toys were found selling individually and in bulk via retail and business-to-businesses sites.

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