Health Canada, the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (US CPSC), McDonald's Corp. and McDonald's Restaurant of Canada Limited have jointly recalled the above toy, which comes as part of Hello Kitty Happy Meals. Parts within the removable red whistle may detach, posing a choking hazard to young children.
While there have been no reports of issues in Canada, two incidents were reported in the United States in which pieces of the whistle broke in the mouths of children.
Customers are advised to immediately restrict children from using the toy and return it to any McDonald’s for an alternative Happy Meal toy, a yogurt tube, or a bag of apple slices.
From October 31 through early November 2014, nearly 200,000 of the whistles were distributed at McDonald's restaurants in Canada, with an additional 2.3 million in the U.S.
Those little detergent pods are handy, aren't they? But they're dangerous, too. A new report in Pediatrics reveals just how many children were hospitalized as a result of coming into contact with the convenient laundry product.
After their release in the US in 2012 and 2013, the single-use "pods" resulted in more than 700 incidents - an average of one child per day to need hospital treatment. Poison control centre calls rocketed, and with 17,000 incidents with kids under six years-old affected, which translates into approximately one call per hour. The numbers are scary: 144 eye injuries, 30 comas, and 12 seizures. All of them avoidable.
Although figures for 2014 haven't yet been released, the dangers are still real and very present. Children under two years-old who are toddling around are particularly at risk because they're able to access the pods which look enticing, "like candy or juice."
Typically children bite through the thin plastic packaging and end up squirting or swallowing some of the liquid detergent. For some reason the reaction to the pods is more averse than standard laundry detergent. One child died as a result of contact with the pods, although vomiting and coughing are the most common side effects, with some children experiencing comas, seizures, and breathing difficulties.
Pod packaging now features warning labels, yet such action is moot if parents and caregivers fail to restrict access to children. Smith suggests that parents with children under four years-old take no chances and buy only "traditional laundry detergent."
I admit, though my son is six, our dishwasher pods are stored under the sink in a cabinet that isn't locked. Because he's older, I assume he knows better. But it's a foolish risk to take and one which can be prevented with only a child lock.
You tell me: Should manufacturers do more to make the packaging child-resistant, or is the onus on parents to keep their children safe?
In an interesting post-script to this viral video about street harassment, Kati Heng set up a Tumblr page where women reveal what was said and what they wore when they were catcalled. The results of the mini-social experiment are fascinating.
So much for that tired argument that if a woman wears slutty clothes she's asking to be harassed or even violated.
"But What Was She Wearing: Stop the Cat Call" bluntly leaves the said assumption dead in the water, as it shows how women face abuse for wearing loose tops, a medical smock, and - my personal favourite - a formless pioneer-style dress.
"[While] wearing a shorts and a baggy flannel, walking with my boyfriend, some dude yelled out his car to my boyfriend, ‘Hey, I want to f*** your girlfriend!’" recalls Heng. "That one was really upsetting because I wasn’t even the object of harassment any more; I was just an object for men to compete over.”
Since Heng began sharing women's stories, she has been met with disbelief. Yet the unlikely outfits keep on coming. The incidents of harassment happen in every locale - from the grocery store to the medical lab - and in towns and cities of every size.
On a personal level, I was dismayed that some female readers failed to spot the harassment in this video. To my mind, this just proves how immune and complacent we have become to catcalls.
“Didn’t your goddamn mother teach you any manners?" a man shouted out to Heng. "A man compliments you, you owe him a thank you! Why can’t you take a compliment? Why do you have to be such a goddamn b****? I was being nice to you!”
If this is "being nice," then I'd hate to see the converse.
Convinced that harassment transcends age and ethnicity, Heng is appealing for women of various backgrounds to share their stories and photos at firstname.lastname@example.org.