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Banned yo-yo balls still finding way to store shelves

Health Canada has issued a recall for several hundred thousand yo-yo type balls sold across Canada, despite the fact such toys have been banned from store shelves since 2003.

Health Canada has issued a recall for several hundred thousand yo-yo type balls sold across Canada, despite the fact such toys have been banned from store shelves since 2003.

About 269,664 of the toys were sold at a number stores, including Wal-Mart, Zellers and Toys "R" Us, between September 2006 and last July.

The toys, made in China by Imperial Toy, are marketed under the names Life-Like Punch Ball Critter, Life-Like Wildin' Out Punch Ball, Googly Punch Ball and Googly Tail.

They're made of soft, sticky plastic and have a rubbery plastic cord that, when stretched, could present a strangulation hazard.

There were no reports of injuries related to the recall, but Health Canada is advising people to cut off the toy's stretchy cord and throw it away.

Hudson's Bay Company, which owns Zellers, said in a statement that it works closely with Health Canada to "effectively manage all product recalls affecting products sold in our stores."

It said that all Health Canada recalls are distributed throughout the chain to "stop the delivery of product to stores," and that it has procedures to inform consumers that products they may want to buy have been recalled.

Yo-yo balls were popular when they first hit the North American market but by 2003, there were at least 410 reports of near-strangulation of young children.

In October 2003, Health Canada banned all yo-yo type balls and similar products.

However, the toys continue to be imported and sold on store shelves. Several recalls have been issued in the past year.

In July, the department recalled 2,384 Klick Klick yo-yo ball toys made by Handee Products.

In March, Health Canada ordered a recall of 1,400 "Stetchin Squid" yo-yo type balls that were sold at Michaels Arts & Crafts stores. Those were made in China by Toysmith.

In February 2009, Health Canada recalled 84 yo-yo type balls marketed as Critter Puff Yo-Yo Ball Toys.

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