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The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recently announced the recall of over 460,000 Wild Republic Slap Watches because they may pose a choking hazard to young children. Consumers who bought the affected watches may return them for a full refund.

Watches Can Pose a Choking Hazard

These watches were made in China and imported by K & M International Inc., d/b/a Wild Republic, of Twinsburg, Ohio. According to its website, Wild Republic helps zoos, aquariums, museums, and parks operate more efficiently. The company creates nature-related toys and gifts to be sold in these types of locations, and its business process software helps customers raise donations to improve visitors’ experience.

The recalled Wild Republic Slap Watches came in various colors with animal designs or historical figures on the faces. Examples included a wolf, spider, elephant, dolphin, frog, panda, mermaid, or King Tut. “Made in China” should be stamped on the back along with the initials K & M.

The watches were intended for children ages three and older and were sold at Kole Imports, Roer’s Zoofari, Seaquest Interactive Aquarium, other zoos, museums, and aquariums, and online at WildRepublic.com, Amazon.com, and Peluches Cory.com from March 2018 through April 2021 for about $8 each.

K & M International is recalling these watches because the coin cell batteries inside them can fall out, posing battery ingestion and choking hazards to young children. Consumers should immediately take the watches away from children, stop using them, and contact Wild Republic for a full refund at 800-800-9678 from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, at quality@wildrepublic.com, or on the company’s online recall site.

The company apologized to its customers, stating, “As a company that is committed to the safety of our customers, we believe that a voluntary recall is the right thing to do.”

Safety Tips to Prevent Button-Battery Injuries

Button batteries are found in many other products including other toys, key FOBS, TV remote controls, and more. If they become stuck in the throat, they can cause low voltage burns within two hours. A battery burn can be bad enough to lead to an actual puncture. Even “dead” batteries can be harmful if swallowed.

The National Safety Council (NSC) states that the number of serious injuries or deaths as a result of button batteries has increased nine-fold in the past decade. Fortunately, most batteries that are swallowed are passed through the body and eliminated, but if they become hung up in the throat or esophagus, they can cause tissue burns.

Between 1995 and 2010, fourteen fatalities involving children ranging in age from 7 months to 3 years were recorded, all from the ingestion of button batteries. To protect your children, follow these tips:

  • Check around your home for items that may contain button batteries.
  • Whenever possible, select batteries in child-resistant safety packaging.
  • Keep loose or spare batteries locked away.
  • Place devices with these batteries out of reach of small children.
  • Be mindful of toys belonging to older children that might contain button batteries.

If your child swallows a button battery, get emergency medical help immediately. Don’t induce vomiting and don’t have the child eat or drink until X-rays show the battery is beyond the esophagus.

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