A McDonald's Happy Meal toy connected with the movie "The Last Airbender" is being targeted by the head of the Department of Consumer Protection in Connecticut after he learned of an incident in which one of the figures was blamed for cutting off the blood-flow to a child's brain.
Consumer Protection Commissioner Jerry Farrell, Jr. sent a letter to Inez Tenenbaum, chairman of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission asking for an expedited investigation of safety issues involving the "Katara" figure and bracelet. In a statement released by Farrell's office, he said a Connecticut mother wrote to the department about how her son was playing with the toy and put the bracelet around his neck. She said the hard plastic ends of the bracelet cut off his circulation and he started to lose consciousness. When she saw what was happening, she pulled the bracelet of the boy's neck, the statement said.
"As you can imagine, I am very concerned that this type of incident will happen again," Farrell wrote to 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. "
He added in the statement posted to the department web site: "This particular complaint struck close to home for me, as my three-year old son also had this toy in his possession."
Farrell suggested that parents consider taking the toys away from their children.
A McDonald's spokeswoman told Consumer Ally the promotion ended last week and the Connecticut incident was the only one reported to the company.
"The Last Airbender 'Katara' figure was evaluated by an independent third-party laboratory accredited by the CPSC and determined to be safe for children and in compliance with all applicable federal requirements," McDonald's USA spokeswoman Ashlee Yingling said in an email to Consumer Ally. "McDonald's toy safety record far exceeds the record for the toy industry overall. Our Happy Meal toy designs undergo extensive reviews and testing by a team of safety experts, including independent testing laboratories."
CPSC officials did not immediately comment on the matter.
Just last month McDonald's initiated a massive recall of Shrek drinking glasses are over concerns about the presence of the heavy metal cadmium.
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