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Published: Monday, 5/17/2010

Family Dollar to Recall 1.8 Million Dart Toys After 2 Boys Die


Family Dollar Stores Inc., the U.S. retailer that sells items for less than $10, is recalling 1.8 million dart-gun toys after two boys suffocated by inhaling the one-inch dart, the Consumer Product Safety Commission said.

A 9-year-old in Chicago and a 10-year-old in Milwaukee were asphyxiated using the toys, the agency said today in a statement. Family Dollar agreed to act after importer Henry Gordy International Inc. of Plainfield, New Jersey, refused to recall the toys made in China, the agency said in the statement.

Parents should immediately take the toys from children and discard them, the agency said. The toy-dart sets were sold by Family Dollar from September 2005 through January 2009 for about $1.50. The darts, soft and pliable plastic about an inch long with a half-inch suction cup, can be inhaled when placed in the mouth, preventing a child from breathing, the agency said.

The U.S. agency has stepped up enforcement efforts since 2007 when Mattel Inc. recalled more than 21 million Chinese-made toys for design flaws and lead paint. In March, the agency fined Japanese retailer Daiso Holding USA Inc. $2.1 million over its failure to respond to regulator concerns about importing toys with illegal levels of lead.

The "Auto Fire" target set is sold by Family Dollar with a orange-and-yellow or a blue-and-yellow toy gun, along with eight orange darts and a small target with numbers from 1 to 20, the agency said. The target board is black, yellow, red and green and measures five inches in diameter.

Family Dollar, the Matthews, North Carolina-based retailer with stores in 44 states that targets low- and middle-income consumers, is cooperating, the agency said.

"The CPSC asked us to voluntarily issue a recall for this product that we haven't sold in our stores in more than a year," Family Dollar spokesman Josh Braverman said in an e- mail. "We agreed as way to ensure that the customers who purchased the product were aware of the potential issues."

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