Toys R Us Inc. has issued a defective product recall for about 24,000 Imaginarium 5-Sided Activity Centers because of potential choking hazards. According to a news report in ConsumerAffairs.com, the small wooden knobs attaching the xylophone keys to the end can detach causing a choking hazard to young children. So far, Toys R Us has received eight reports of the knobs detaching. No injuries have been reported to the company.

The recalled products, which were manufactured in China, were sold nationwide and online at www.toysrus.com from August 2009 through September 2010 for about $25. Anyone who has these products at home is urged to stop using them right away and return them to a Toys R Us store for a refund or store credit. For more information, please contact the company at 1-800-869-7787.

Toy-Related Injuries and Fatalities

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), there were 17 reports of toy-related deaths that occurred in 2010 among children under 15 years of age. Balloons and small balls were associated with 47 percent of the reported deaths in 2010. Choking was the cause of the majority of deaths and four children died as a result of drowning. In 2010, 11 of the 17 deaths (65 percent) involved choking on small toys or toy parts. Also, during the same year, there were about 251,700 toy-related injuries treated in hospital emergency departments. The 2010 estimate was slightly higher than the 250,100 injuries in 2009.

Choosing Safer Toys

There are several steps parents can take while choosing toys for their children. Avoid toys that have small parts that can be detached and ingested. Check all toys for loose or small parts. Be aware of toys that may contain toxic substances such as lead and phthalates. Do not purchase toys assembled with small magnets. A child may swallow such magnets, which could later combine to form a larger obstruction. Also, loud toys may prove harmful to the child’s hearing. Check for recalled toys often. You can check this information on CPSC’s web site, www.cpsc.gov. Make sure that the toys you choose are age appropriate for your children.

If your child has been injured as a result of a defective toy, please contact an experienced California personal injury lawyer, who has successfully handled products liability cases against large corporations including toy manufacturers. In such cases, the manufacturers of the defective products can be held liable for the injuries and damages caused. The best product defect law firms will always offer a free consultation and comprehensive case evaluation to injured victims and their families.