July 26, 2010
Consumer Protection Commissioner Farrell Seeks Federal Action on McDonald’s Happy Meal Toy
HARTFORD, July 26 -- Connecticut Consumer Protection Commissioner Jerry Farrell, Jr. has issued a letter to US Consumer Product Safety Commission Chairperson Inez Tenenbaum, seeking a speedy resolution in the matter of a consumer complaint involving a child safety risk posed by "The Last Airbender Katara" figure and bracelet given out in McDonald’s Happy Meals by the national fast food chain.
The Department received a complaint from a Connecticut consumer, detailing how her son’s playing with the Happy Meal toy could have ended in tragedy,
The consumer alleged that "The Last Airbender Katara" figure and bracelet given out in a McDonald’s Happy Meal could injure or kill a child if used inappropriately. She indicated that her son was playing with the toy, when he took the bracelet and put it around his neck. The hard plastic ends of the bracelet allegedly cut off blood circulation to his arteries, and he began to lose consciousness. When the parent saw what the boy had done, she removed the bracelet from his neck, averting serious harm.
“As you can imagine, I am very concerned that this type of incident will happen again,” Farrell wrote to Chairperson Tenenbaum. “If a child is playing in an area away from a responsible caretaker, I believe that tragedy could strike. I do know that your agency is in receipt of the complaint and samples of the product. I hope that your agency will move on this complaint expeditiously. “
"This particular complaint struck close to home for me, as my three-year old son also had this toy in his possession," Farrell said.
Commissioner Farrell asked that the CPSC consider ways to ensure the removal of the Katara toys from the marketplace and offered the assistance of the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection to make that happen.
Parents whose children have the “Last Airbender Katara” toy (pictured below) from a recent McDonald’s Happy Meal may want to remove the product from their children’s use awaiting further information, Farrell concluded.