By NATASHA T. METZLER
Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON (AP) - Mattel Inc. on Tuesday recalled more than 172,000 Fisher-Price kitchen toys in the United States and Europe because several children choked and gagged on small, detachable parts.
The company has received 48 reports of small parts separating from these toys, which feature a sink, a refrigerator and a range. One child choked on a detached piece and needed the Heimlich maneuver performed to remove the part. One child started to choke and two children had pieces in their mouths and gagged.
"Small parts choking hazards with toys is one of the most serious dangers to children in the United States," Scott Wolfson, Consumer Product Safety Commission spokesman, said. "This should send a message to parents to take this toy away from the child immediately."
The recall involves 155,000 toys sold in the United States, according to the CPSC. It also includes 7,000 items distributed in Britain, 4,900 in Italy, 4,900 in Germany and 394 in Austria. The Mexican-made toys were sold between May and October.
"We take toy safety very seriously, so we do everything we can to ensure the safety of our toys," Fisher-Price spokeswoman Juliette Reashor said.
Mattel, the nation's largest toy maker, issued two major recalls in August for lead-tainted toys and toys with small, powerful magnets that can cause intestinal perforations if swallowed. It issued another, smaller recall of lead-contaminated toys last month. All of the previously recalled toys were manufactured in China.
Reashor said the safety issue in Tuesday's recall was not identified as part of the stepped-up oversight and testing of production processes that began after the August recalls.
For a free repair kit, toy owners should contact Fisher-Price at 888-812-7187. For more information, visit http://www.service.mattel.com or http://www.cpsc.gov.
(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)