By Wayne Hogan and Leslie Goller
From October 2014 through the first week of November 2014, 2.3 million defective Hello Kitty- themed figurine whistles were included in McDonald’s restaurants Happy Meals and Mighty Kids Meals. They have been recalled because parts of the three-inch-tall “Hello Kitty Birthday Lollipop” whistle can detach and be inhaled, posing a risk to small children. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission recall reports two children have coughed out pieces of the whistle that they had sucked into their mouths, including one child who received medical attention. Adults should immediately take the whistle away from children.
The recalled whistles are red and were included in a plastic Hello Kitty figurine holding a pink heart-shaped lollipop. The whistle can be removed and used to make sounds by inhaling or exhaling through the mouthpiece. When closed, the figurine measures about 3 inches in height and width and 1 3/4 inches in depth. The whistle measures about 1 3/4 inches in height and width and 3/4 inches in depth. A picture of Hello Kitty appears on both sides of the whistle. The text “©1976, 2014 SANRIO CO., LTD.” appears above Hello Kitty’s face on the whistle, and “Made for McDonald’s China CCW Chine” appears below Hello Kitty’s face on the whistle. The bag in which the toy is packaged includes the text “Hello Kitty® Birthday Lollipop” and the number “6” in the upper right corner.
The defective whistles can be returned to any McDonald’s restaurant for a free replacement toy and either a yogurt tube or a bag of apple slices.