Fisher-Price Fined $975,000 for Failing to Report a Serious Choking Hazard With A Popular Toy

When a company receives a credible report of a product defect that could “create a substantial risk of injury to the public,” the company has 24 hours to report it the CPSC. When Fisher-Price first received its first report of a nail fastener coming loose from a Little People

Animal Sounds Farm toy in September 2002, it did nothing. From the CPSC:

Over the next two months, Fisher-Price received nine additional reports, including one case of a child placing the nail fastener in her mouth.

By February 2003, Fisher-Price had received two reports of parents concerned that this problem posed a choking hazard to children and a report of a December 30, 2002 incident in which a 14-month old child aspirated a nail fastener into his lung. The child was taken to the hospital and underwent an emergency surgical procedure to have the metal nail fastener removed.

It was not until March 2003 that the company reported the safety hazard with the Little People

Animal Farm to the Commission. By that time, Fisher-Price was aware of at least 33 reports in which the nail fastener came loose from the stall doors. These included four reports of children who put the metal nail fastener in their mouths and the one case of the child who aspirated the nail fastener.

Fisher-Price has been fined $975,000 for the violation. —MEGHANN MARCO

Fisher-Price Fined $975,000 for Failing to Report a Serious Choking, Aspiration Hazard with a Popular Children’s Toy [CPSC]


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  1. Grrrrrrr, now with two buns made of bacon. says:

    So how long before the RIAA sues Fisher-Price over “copyrighted” animal sounds?

  2. Nemesis_Enforcer says:

    Soo now that a Bush cronie is head of the CPSC I wonder if the fines will magically be reduced..

  3. pronell says:

    Wow. I’m actually kind of amazed that Fisher Price has products that contain metal. I only remember the brightly-colored molded plastic.

    I guess those Speak-n-Spell things must have had some metal innards, though. (Those weren’t Fisher Price, probably, but oh well.)

  4. gorckat says:

    Damn- my daughter still has that thing up in her toy room. She loves it even though she’s 8 :P

  5. opishposh says:

    This is why my kid’s only Fisher-Price toys are vintage — no hidden choking hazards. Only glaringly obvious ones.

  6. RexRhino says:

    It is good too see that consumer advocates are making sure are kids are overprotected whussies that aren’t allowed to have any fun.

    Better not let the kid play outside either – I hear that rocks and sticks can present choking hazards. I think the U.S. government should fine God at least $975,000!

    Remember folks, the only way to make sure your child is truly safe is to make sure they only watch TV! (Well, safe except for the epidemic levels of childhood obesity and diabetes and diseases caused by inactivity – but those don’t count!)