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McDonald’s recall 32million Happy Meals fitness bands after kids left with burns
McDonald’s is recalling millions of fitness bands that had been given away in Happy Meals after complaints that they burnt children.
The fast-food chain said last week that it would stop distributing the bands in Happy Meals. Now it’s recalling 29million of them in the U.S., and 3.6million in Canada.
The company, based in Oak Brook, Illinois, received more than 70 reports of incidents after children wore the bands, including seven reports of blisters, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
Casey Collyar, a mother from Arkansas, claimed her son had been burned by the device and posted pictures of a red mark on her child’s arm.
She wrote on Facebook: ‘If your kids have this happy meal toy do not let them play with it. Cason has a burn after playing with the toy for about eight minutes.
‘The toy has a red light in it that is powered by the battery on the back that possibly is the cause of the burn. ‘
The Step-It Fitness plastic wristbands, in blue, green, purple, orange and red, look like watches and are supposed to track physical activity.
Customers should return the wristbands to McDonald’s for a free replacement toy, and either a yogurt tube or bag of apple slices, the CPSC said.
The wristbands, which were made in China and distributed exclusively by McDonald’s, were sold between August 9 and August 17.
The promotion had turned heads even before the recall, given the reputation of McDonald’s Corp. as a seller of junk food.
The company has been trying to change that reputation over the years, in part by including fruit in its Happy Meals.
In a promotional video for the gadget, two girls are trying out several different physical activities to increase the number of their step counts.
The company has also been running TV ads saying its Chicken McNuggets are now made without artificial preservatives.
A Texas mom, from Conroe, Brittney Strawn, complained that her children have been hurt by the plastic wristbands.
‘Who do I contact about the extreme burn on my sons arm?’ she asked McDonalds on their social media pages, offering to show them a picture of her son’s arm.
‘The cheap battery leaks on occasion.’
Other concerned parents to immediately throw away the defunct toy.
‘Oh wow I will be tossing it in the trash’, Suzanne Sgro said, from Michigan. ‘Good thing I threw this out,’ Deanna Ponto added.
Others called on the fast food chain to put ‘real toys’ back in their Happy Meals rather than fitness trackers.
Danny Davenport wrote on Facebook: ‘This wouldn’t even be a problem if you guys would put the real toy back in the Happy Meals and stop trying to pull a copycat Cracker Jack and make the stuff crapper every year tell no one buys them anymore and you’re forced to sell Happy Meals 3 for a dollar just to get them off the shelf.’
In an official statement, McDonald’s said: ‘We are voluntarily removing the Step It! Activity Band Happy Meal toys in our restaurants in our United States and Canadian markets.
‘We have taken this swift and voluntary step after receiving limited reports of potential skin irritations that may be associated from wearing the band.
‘Nothing is more important to us than the safety of our customers and we are fully investigating this issue. Our restaurants are now offering our youngest guests an alternative Happy Meal toy.’