They seem like the most safe and simple of things, those soft books that babies can teeth on, not to mention soak up a little reading with mom or dad toward future literary greatness. But this kids' soft book is being recalled as a choking hazard. Sometimes it seems like nothing is safe if a good, old-fashioned book made of fabric can potentially be a danger.
The product in question, a children's soft book from manufacturer Manhattan Toys, poses a potential choking hazard, according to the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission, because of a metal grommet that attaches a fabric flap to pages in the book. This grommet can detach, which can then be something on which little kids could choke. About 1,180 of these books, (with about 20 sold in Canada).
The “Find the Bear” version from Minneapolis manufacturer Manhattan Toys, according to the USCPSC, is the version in question. The front is covered in blue and purple horizontal stripes and a panda bear’s face, with the Manhattan Toy logo printed on a sewn-in label on the side. The lot number, 208150 AJ, is printed on another tag. If this matches a description of a soft book in your home, it's best to take the book away from anywhere a little kid can get to it. You can then reach out to Manhattan Toy for a full refund.
According to the Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette, the books were sold at stores across the country, as well as at Amazon, Buybuybaby.com, Manhattantoy.com, and other websites between March 2017 and July 2018.
The USCPSC noted that Manhattan Toy has received one report of the metal grommet detaching from the page but very luckily, no injuries have been reported.
This news really scares me, since all my kids had soft books when they were tiny and loved them. We used to say they were their dinners, the girls had chewed on them so thoroughly after a while!
So this kind of news just isn't welcome. But at least the company is being proactive about it. And it turns out, soft books have run into similar trouble before. Parents magazine reported a recall of cloth books back in 2005 to 2006, in which the pop-up characters could detach, offering a potential choking risk. Sigh.
Then, in 2010, the CPSC announced that the Big Rex and Friends series of cloth books, manufactured in China, contained high levels of lead, which can be toxic to kids if ingested.
With the holidays just around the corner, it seems sad that when kids open those presents, the truth is, parents can only hope and pray that the toys they've given their kids are safe, and that the manufacturing practices used to make the trinkets were reliable. If only Santa could really just make it all in that nice, old-fashioned workshop, then I'd be less worried.
Call Manhattan Toy at 800-541-1345 go or online to www.manhattantoy.com and click on “Recalls” for more information.