Target Recalls Halloween Masks Due to Suffocation Risk
Target Corporation, the nation’s second largest retailer, is voluntarily recalling 3,400 plush children’s frog masks because they lack proper ventilation and pose a suffocation risk. All consumers who purchased the masks earlier this fall should stop using them immediately and return them to any Target store for a full refund.
The frog-themed animal masks, made in China and sold exclusively at Target for about $1 between August and September of this year, are green with yellow and red highlights, two eye cutouts and a green elastic band with a fastener that secures the mask at the back of the child’s head. The UPC code is 06626491474 and is printed on a label attached to the mask.
No incidents have been reported related to the masks, notes the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). However, any consumers with issues about these or any other consumer product they have purchased can report them to the agency using the website SaferProducts.gov or call (800) 638-2772.
More information is available from Target's guest relations staff at (800) 440-0680 between 7am and 6pm CT Monday through Friday or online at www.target.com.
Parents who have already purchased their child’s Halloween costume for this year should check for the following recommendations from the CPSC to ensure that the costume poses no safety or health risks:
Flame Resistant Costumes: When purchasing a costume, masks, beards, and wigs, look for the label Flame Resistant. Although this label does not mean these items won't catch fire, it does indicate the items will resist burning and should extinguish quickly once removed from the ignition source. To minimize the risk of contact with candles or other sources of ignition, avoid costumes made with flimsy materials and outfits with big, baggy sleeves or billowing skirts.
Costume Designs: Purchase or make costumes that are light and bright enough to be clearly visible to motorists.
• For greater visibility during dusk and darkness, decorate or trim costumes with reflective tape that will glow in the beam of a car's headlights. Bags or sacks should also be light colored or decorated with reflective tape. Reflective tape is usually available in hardware, bicycle, and sporting goods stores.
• To easily see and be seen, children should also carry flashlights.
• Costumes should be short enough to prevent children from tripping and falling.
• Children should wear well-fitting, sturdy shoes. High heels are not a good idea for safe walking.
• Hats and scarves should be tied securely to prevent them from slipping over children's eyes.
• Apply a natural “mask” with cosmetics, but ensure the makeup is non-toxic and has been tested to ensure the child isn’t allergic. If a costume mask is used, however, make sure it fits securely, has appropriate ventilation to allow breathing, and has eyeholes large enough to allow full vision.
• Swords, knives, and similar costume accessories should be of soft and flexible material.
• If your older child goes out on Halloween alone, sew an identification label into the costume and consider having him or her carry a cell phone in the case of an emergency.
Source: US Consumer Product Safety Commission (www.cpsc.gov)