Montreal-based Mega Brands Inc. expanded a recall of its Magnetix magnetic building sets on Thursday, about a year after a number of young children swallowed loose parts from the toys.
Mega Brands initially recalled 3.8 million of the sets in March 2006 after more than 30 children in the United States suffered internal injuries, allegedly from ingesting tiny magnets that had dislodged from the plastic building pieces.
A 22-month-old boy from Redmond, Wash., died after he swallowed magnets that twisted his small intestine and created a blockage. No injuries or incidents involving the toys were reportedin Canada.
Four million more toy sets recalled
Thursday's announcement, made by Mega Brands and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission,covers all magnetic building sets purchased before March 31, 2006.The recall now involvesabout7.8 million Magnetix kits.
The company said the replacement program isintended for consumersanddoes not involve products on retail shelves.
"Today's announcement is intended for parents who are concerned about having older Magnetix products in the home," said Vic Bertrand, the chief operating officer of Mega Brands.
"We are reaching out to these households to remind them that we will replace their products with new Magnetix sets or other age-appropriate Mega Brands toys free of charge."
Since last year, the company has replaced the toy sets with versions suitable for children under six and has added warning labels about the dangers of ingesting magnets.
If more than one magnet is swallowed, the magnets can attract to each other and cause intestinal perforation or blockage, which can be fatal.
In October 2006, the company said it was paying $13.5 million US in a settlement involving a number of lawsuits stemming from injuries blamed on the toy kits.
For information about the replacement program, peoplecan call 1-800-779-7122 or visit Mega Brands' website. They're advisedto contact the company directly and to not return their Magnetix products to retailers.