On on September 22, 2006, Playskool of Pawtucket, Rhode Island, recalled more than 250,000 Team Talkin’ Tool Bench toys, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Two children, a 19 month boy from West Virginia and a 2 year old boy from Texas, died when they choked on large plastic nails sold with the tool bench.
The Playskool toy tool bench had been sold since last October in stores around the country, including Toys R Us, Wal-Mart, Target, and KB. Thousands of children have died over the years from choking tragedies related to toys. Some of these deaths occur when children are momentarily unattended around products not intended for small children. Balloons are an example of a product safe for an older child and potentially deadly for an infant. Year after year, though, children die or are seriously injured by toys marketed by toy manufacturers for small children, yet containing well known hazards. It is shocking to see toys sold for toddlers, with detachable parts small enough to lodge in a child’s throat. Such defective products in toys intended for small children, is inexcusable. Parents must use extreme caution when buying toys for youngsters. Ultimately, the government must crack down on careless manufacturers and the industry must police itself. That is increasingly difficult in a global marketplace. Lawsuits can help by imposing a financial penalty on toy manufactuers and retail stores that create and sell deadly toys. As yet, though, neither governmental regulation nor lawsuits have stopped the ongoing tragedies. The Consumer Product Safety Commission receives approximately 15 – 20 reports each year of children under 3 years of age choking to death on toys