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One Million Toy Ovens Recalled

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The toy company Hasbro is doing a repeat recall of one its most popular toys – the Easy- Bake oven. In February, the company recalled 1 million of these toys after they got reports of more than 250 children getting injured by getting their hands or fingers stuck in the ovens.

But as it turns out, the incidents have hardly stopped. Since February, there have been about 25 incidents involving serious injuries of a similar nature. Now, Hasbro is recalling 1 million more Easy-Bake ovens, according to an article posted on ABC News’ Web site. According to the ABC article, in the original recall in February, 77 incidents involved burns – 16 involving second and third-degree burns. One 5-year-old girl even had to have her finger amputated as a result of one of these injuries.

But there is also another problem. Consumer Product Safety Commission officials say that consumers have not turned in the defective ovens. Hasbro is saying that one of the reasons Hasbro is reissuing the alert is because it was not heeded the first time. According to the CPSC’s Web site, the latest recalled models include purple and pink Easy-Bake ovens, Model Number 65805. These toys were reportedly made in China and sold after May 2006 at Toys “R” Us, Wal-Mart, Target and other major retail outlets.

Officials say that a lot of parents don’t realize that these toys are not safe for children under 8 years old. The greatest danger of these toys is to smaller children. That’s where they say they see a lot of injuries happen. I am wondering if this is a case of younger siblings playing with a toy intended for their older siblings.

Responsible toy design, manufacture and distribution dictate a careful analysis of a toy’s propensity to be a danger as well as immediate and effective recalls when a toy proves unreasonably dangerous. Is it that Hasbro and the Consumer Product Safety Commission have not effectively gotten the word out regarding the dangers of this toy and its recall or are parent’s ignoring the message? Does Hasbro use the same talent, skill and resources to get their defective products returned as they do to sell them in the first place?

In imagining what our family would do if we became aware of a recalled toy in our home. We are more likely to simply toss the toy in the trash rather than actually return it to the place of purchase, put up with the usual less than efficient return systems, store employee ineptitude, wait for a Hasbro issued credit and then actually use the credit. Maybe that’s why there is such a low percentage of “returns”. After all, the more effective Hasbro is with a recall campaign the more cost there is to Hasbro and their retailers to process the returns and issue credits.

Maybe if we had a system to donate recalled toys to our local pre-school or kindergarten and they could return the toys for credit they could use for their needs, we would all be better off. Forget it; I don’t like that solution either – sounds good but too much trouble. Maybe if a manufacturer had to pay a fine for every recalled product that didn’t actually get recalled, they would implement a much more effective recall system. Oh well, toss the darn things in the trash.

If you or your child has been injured by a defective toy, please call me, John Bisnar of Bisnar Chase Personal Injury Attorneys for your free and confidential consultation. 800-259-6373.

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