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Published on Nov 11, 2010 by Edgar Snyder

The Five Most Dangerous Recalled Toys

recalled toys

It seems like recalls are everywhere, and the weeks leading up to the holidays are particularly filled with warnings about what you should and shouldn't buy. It may seem like dangerous toys are a relatively new phenomenon, but as you'll see from the list below, they've been on the market for decades.

If you still have these toys around your house, make sure you remove them immediately. Also keep in mind that even though they're older, they may make an appearance at garage sales or as hand-me-downs.

  • Aqua Dots: The beads in this toy contained a chemical that, if ingested, metabolized into gamma hydroxybutyrate (GHB), more commonly known as the date rape drug. Several years ago, two children who swallowed the beads became comatose and one was hospitalized for five days. Over 4 million units were eventually recalled.
  • Easy-Bake Oven: A new, front-loading model introduced in 2006 trapped some children's hands and fingers in its opening, leading to second- and third-degree burns. All in all, 77 burn reports were received, and 985,000 of the toys were recalled in February 2007.
  • Battlestar Galatica Missile Launcher: This toy hit the market in 1978, but Mattel recalled the launchers in 1979 after a child reportedly choked to death on one of the missiles.
  • Mini hammocks: Between 1984 and 1995, 12 children died by asphyxiation after becoming tangled in the hammocks. Thirteen companies ended up suspending sales and recalled 3 million hammocks in August 1996.
  • Jarts/lawn darts: Jarts and other versions of lawn darts were responsible for more than 6,700 injuries and four deaths before they were banned in 1988.

Unfortunately, we still have a long way to go when it comes to toy safety, and the best protection you have right now is to do your research. There are a number of useful resources you can use, including the CPSC's toy recall page and Recall.gov's recall mobile app. I'll also be reporting recalls as they occur this season. Always do your homework before you make a purchase!

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