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John Bisnar
John Bisnar
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Company Recalls A Million Easy-Bake Ovens

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Hasbro Inc. is recalling close to a million Easy-Bake Ovens sold since last May because children can get their hands or fingers caught in the oven’s opening, which poses an entrapment or burn hazard, according to an article on the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s Web site (www.cpsc.gov).

The company, so far, has received 29 reports of children getting their fingers or hands caught in the product, including five reports of burns. The recalled plastic ovens are pink and purple and resemble a kitchen stove with four burners on top and a front-loading oven.

The recall does not include ovens sold before May 2006. Major retailers such as Toys “R” Us, Wal-Mart, Target and KB Toys sold the toy from May 2006 through February 2007.

Thank you Hasbro Inc. for recalling this hazardous product quickly. You have saved untold numbers of children from injuries. Even the best intentioned companies make errors.

Recalls are especially significant in products that involve children because, typically, children don’t know or are unable to react to a situation where a product fails. They are in more danger of getting seriously hurt in such circumstances.

Unfortunately, thousands of children are injured every year by toys. In 2005, the Consumer Product Safety Commission estimated that 202,300 children were treated in the emergency room for toy-related injuries. And, 7,820 of those injuries were to the eyes.

Prevent Blindness America, a national nonprofit that aims to improve eye health and safety, provides several useful tips to make our children’s play time much safer:

• Avoid toys that shoot or include parts that fly off. Slingshots and even water guns are dangerous because they invite children to target other kids. BB guns should not even be considered toys.

• Inspect toys for sturdiness. Your child’s toys should be durable with no sharp edges or points. The toys should also withstand impact.

• Look for the letters “ASTM.” This means the product meets the national safety standards set by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM).

• Don’t give toys with small parts to young children. Young kids tend to put things in their mouths, increasing the risk of choking.

• Read directions carefully and follow suggested age levels. Ask yourself if the toy is right for your child’s ability and age.

• Repair or throw away damaged toys.

• Keep toys meant for older children away from younger ones.

• Make a list of safety rules and share them with your child. If your child is playing with friends, tell everyone your safety rules.