4 million more Magnetix building sets recalled
Consumer Product Safety Commission expanded toy recall after receiving reports of more serious injuries to kids from small magnetic parts.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- The Consumer Product Safety Commission said Thursday that it has expanded its earlier recall of several million "Magnetix" magnetic building sets to 4 million more units, after additional serious injuries to children were reported.
In March 2006, the CPSC issued a recall for an estimated 3.8 million sets made by Mega Brand and sold in the United States by retailers including by Wal-Mart (Charts, Fortune 500), Target (Charts, Fortune 500), Toys R Us, Fred Meyer, Design Science Toys, A.C. Moore and others after it found that the small magnets used in building sets caused illness in over 30 children - and one child died - after being swallowed.
The CPSC said it has now expanded that recall to 4 million more units after serious injuries continued to be reported.
The recall includes all sets, except newer Magnetix sets sold since March 31, 2006, that are labeled for ages 6 and up and sets that contain the following caution label:
"CAUTION: Do not ingest or inhale magnets. Attraction of magnets in the body may cause serious injury and require immediate medical care"
To date, the agency said it is aware of one death, one aspiration and 27 intestinal injuries. Emergency surgical intervention was needed in all but one case.
At least 1,500 incidents of magnets separating from the building pieces have been reported. Although the hazard was initially thought to be a problem primarily for children younger than six, the CPSC said it has since been learned that at least ten injuries involved children between the ages of 6 and 11 years old.
If a child swallows more than one tiny powerful magnet detached from the plastic building pieces, or one such magnet and a metallic object, the objects can attract each other inside the intestines and cause perforations and/or blockage, which can be fatal if not treated immediately, the agency said.
These older sets, which were manufactured in China, contain up to 250 plastic building pieces and 1/2-inch diameter steel ball magnets.
The building pieces include 1 1/2-inch squares, 1-inch triangles, cylindrical rods, flexors, connectors, x-tenders, and curves. They come in an assortment of colors such as metallic, primary, translucent, and glow in the dark.
Mass merchants and other toy and arts and crafts stores sold the sets nationwide for between $20 and $60, depending on the size of the set.
Consumers should stop using the recalled magnetic sets immediately and contact Mega Brands for a comparable replacement toy.
If consumers are uncertain as to whether their product is being recalled, they can contact Mega Brands at 800-779-7122 between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, or visit the firm's Web site at www.megabrands.com.