After two young boys died after choking on plastic darts, Family Dollar stores nationwide are recalling toy dart guns sold exclusively at the store’s chains between September 2005 and January 2009. Both boys died after accidentally inhaling plastic darts, which became lodged in their throats and caused them to suffocate.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission originally confronted the toy manufacturer, Henry Gordy International Inc. of Plainfield, New Jersey about recalling the toys, which were made in China. However, after that company refused to recall the hazardous product, Family Dollar agreed to comply and issued a recall of the 1.8 million toy dart guns sold. The spokesman for the CPSC, Scott Wolfson, commented that it is extremely rare for the manufacturer of a dangerous and defective toy to refuse to recall a product. Furthermore, while the agency is focused on getting the word out to consumers to protect their children from the defective toy guns, the CPSC could bring a lawsuit against the company, although the Wolfson declined to comment if the agency would take such action. Nevertheless, Henry Gordy has also been involved with two other recalls in the past three years, including recalling a magnetic dart board in 2008 that posed a choking hazard, as well as spacemen action figures imported from China due to high levels of lead in the toys’ paint.
The CPSC is warning parents to immediately take the dart gun toys from their children and discard them. The darts, which are soft and flexible, can be inhaled when placed in the mouth, preventing a child from breathing.