Some Parents Want Yo-Yo Ball Off Market

ByABC News via logo
September 24, 2003, 11:12 AM

Sept. 24 -- A fun-filled day turned in to an overnight stay at the hospital for a 6-year-old Massachusetts boy who got the elastic cord from his Yo-Yo Ball tangled around his neck.

Justice Gilkes was treated overnight for near strangulation.

"All of a sudden, it just came down and wrapped around my neck," Justice said.

The boy's mother, Lynn Moran, said those who treated her son said he was in very serious danger.

"They kept telling him what a very lucky boy he was," Moran said.

In the last six months the federal government has received 186 reports of children who had problems with the toys, millions of which have been sold in the United States since last fall.

But the Consumer Product Safety Commission claims that none of the reports included deaths or serious injuries. And the CPSC says there are no plans for a recall.

In an exclusive interview with Good Morning America, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commissioner Hal Stratton said the toy will remain on the market.

"We cannot make the showing that Congress requires of us in our statute to issue a complete recall of this particular product," Stratton said.

Parents Warned of 'Low but Potential Risk'

The CPSC says while it is not ordering a recall, it is warning parents of what it says is a "low but potential risk" from these toys. The CPSC also says if parents are worried about these toys they can cut the cord off.

It's a different story outside of the United States. Yo-Yo Balls have been taken off the market in Britain, France and elsewhere.

And now some concerned consumer officials in New York and Massachusetts are turning to Washington regulators for help.

Beth Lindstrom, of the Massachusetts Office of Consumer Affairs office, says she believes the toy should not be available to children at all.

"It's a dangerous toy," Lindstrom said. "It just should be taken out of the toy box."

Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., says any toy that shows the possibility of injury is too risky.