January 27, 2000In the Wake of Another Death, Burger King Again Warns Consumers of
Pokemon Ball Hazard
Miami, FL (SafetyAlerts)
- In the wake of another death, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and
Burger King Corp. are again urging consumers to immediately destroy and discard Pokemon
balls distributed with Burger King kids meals in November and December 1999. On
January 25, 2000, a 4-month-old boy in Indianapolis, Ind., reportedly suffocated when
one-half of a Pokemon ball that was in his crib became stuck on his face.
In December, a 13-month old girl reportedly
suffocated when one-half of a Pokemon ball covered her nose and mouth. Also in December,
an 18-month old girl nearly suffocated when a ball-half got stuck over her face. On the
second attempt, the girl's father was able to pull the ball-half from her face.
Burger King Corp. issued a voluntary recall of
more than 25 million Pokemon balls on December 27, 1999. The balls pose a suffocation
hazard to children under three years of age. To view the recall click here.
As part of the voluntary recall effort, more than
8,100 Burger King restaurants posted recall notices in both English and Spanish. When the
recall was first announced, Burger King placed an ad in USA Today, and CPSC broadcast a
video news release so local television stations could use video tape showing the danger.
CPSC Chairman Ann Brown also announced the recall on the Today Show reaching millions of
In addition, Burger King worked with the CPSC to
send recall notices to 56,000 pediatricians' offices, 10,000 emergency room directors and
25,000 emergency health care clinics across the country. Notices were posted on the CPSC
and Burger King web sites, and on web sites frequented by Pokemon fans and parents. Recall
notices will be posted on tray liners, carry-out bags and french fry bags as well.
Burger King also will purchase national cable and network television advertisements to
alert consumers to the recall. The company also has set up a toll-free hotline number with
information about the recall in both English and Spanish at (800) 775-0625.
Pokemon balls are plastic, ball-shaped containers
between 2.75 and 3 inches in diameter. They pull apart to reveal one of 57 different
Pokemon toys inside. The balls were distributed in a variety of colors including red and
white, and hot pink. Packaging described them as safety tested and recommended for all
ages of children.
Burger King restaurants nationwide distributed the
Pokemon balls inside Burger King big kids meals and regular kids meals from early November
through December 1999.
Consumers should immediately take the balls away
from children under the age of three. They should discard the ball or return both halves
of the ball and the clip to a Burger King restaurant for a free order of small fries.
Children can continue to use the Pokemon toy that came inside the ball.