After returning the dresser and spending 40 minutes picking out plastic bins, we headed over to the toy section of the two-floor mega Target. While the kids played with giant bouncy balls, my wife and I spread out in search of two small gifts for Lael.
We passed up on the many toys that seemed dangerous or age inappropriate. We considered several “kitchen-themed toys” as well as dolls, though we were loathe to buy Barbie dolls.
At one point, I recalled seeing a small BBQ grill for sale and thought it looked too unstable, if not dangerous. The next morning, I started working on a lengthy post decrying dangerous toys. (I will have that up soon.)
While combing the CPSC’s recall site, I noticed the grill I saw at Target had been recalled more than two weeks ago because of laceration hazards. The product was supposed to be off the market by February 2007.
I felt it necessary to go back to Target and see if it was the same model, though the CPSC didn’t list any model numbers. Besides, we needed a few more plastic storage bins.
As I walked over to the toy section, I couldn’t but help notice the hundreds of black-plastic covered video cameras on the ceiling. This gleaming new Target is in a “transitional” neighborhood.
When I arrived, it was clear that the BBQ grill was the same model, BUT the dangerous tray had been swapped out and the price marked down. I guess Target officials preferred to not take a total loss on the toy.
Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for dangerous toys to stay on the market long after they have been recalled, report The New York Times and The Chicago Tribune. The Times’ documents how dangerous Magnetix toys, which contain powerful magnets that can rip through the intestines when swallowed, stayed on retailer’s shelves even after recalls were issued. The Tribune notes that Thomas Trains remined on the market following a recall.
As I mentioned, I recognized the BBQ while scrolling through the CPSC’s recall website. One thing that popped out at me is the number of recalls Target has faced recently.
Here are some examples:
- Target Recalls Anima Bamboo Collection Games Due to Lead Poisoning Hazard
- Target Recalls Activity Cart Toys Due to Choking Hazard
- Target Recalls Baby Rattles and Ornaments for Choking Hazard
- Target Recalls Various Toys Due to Lead and Laceration Hazards
- Target Recalls “Play Wonder” Puzzle Tables for Choking and Laceration Hazards
- Halloween Pumpkin Decoration Kits Sold at Target Stores Recalled by Paper Magic Group Due to Choking Hazard
Target is not the only retailer with problems. On Tuesday, Wal-Mart announced the recall of children’s earrings containing lead. Fortunately, only 220 units face recall.
Other recent Wal-Mart recalls include:
- Gemmy Industries Corp. Recalls Disney Plush Easter Baskets Sold at Wal-Mart Due to Choking Hazard
- Wal-Mart Recalls Minnie Mouse Cardigan Sets Due to Strangulation Hazard
- Wal-Mart Recalls Stuffed Christmas Beagles Due to Choking Hazard
- Baby Cookie Monster Toys Sold with DVD at Wal-Mart Recalled for Choking Hazard
Please note that I’m not singling out these two retailers; the problem seems widespread when you look at the CPSC lists. I’m just using the two most popular retailers since they are the most likely place we shop.
In the meantime, I just can’t help worry if the Mr. Potato Head and Dora Doodle Pro we bought for Lael will show up on the recall list somewhere down the road.
(I was having trouble uploading images. I will add when computers allow.)