Playnation Play Systems of Kennesaw, Ga., is recalling 1,400 “fun buckets,” a vinyl bucket attached to a rope used to lift small items up to backyard play sets’ forts. As children play on the play set’s slide or platform, the 6- to 8-foot free-hanging rope can become entangled around the child’s neck and cause strangulation.

Playnation is aware of two incidents where the bucket’s rope became entangled around the necks of 4-year-olds, but both children were freed without injury. However, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) knows of 135 children who have died in the past 10 years from all types of ropes, leashes or jump ropes that were attached to backyard play sets.

Sold as an add-on option for backyard play sets, the 14-inch-deep fun buckets are either yellow or green vinyl and have a black nylon strap attached to the rope. The fun buckets were sold with a heavy wood bracket to attach them to the roof of a play set fort.

Distributors of backyard play sets nationwide sold the fun buckets from February 1998 through February 2003 for about $25.

Consumers should take down the fun buckets immediately, and return them to the store where purchased for a refund or a credit toward another product. For more information, contact Playnation at (770) 792-9300 or

CPSC warns consumers never to allow free-hanging ropes on play sets. Contact CPSC about any such items purchased from a retailer.

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is recalling tether kits for Snug Seat Inc. child safety seats because the kits contain a washer that does not meet the requirements of a federal safety standard for child restraint systems.

The recall involves 1,146 tether anchor kits for the Gorilla child safety seat, model number 200-1000, and Spelcast child safety seat, model number 600-1000, manufactured between July 26, 2002, and Jan. 15, 2003. This kit enables the purchaser to mount a tether anchor in a vehicle that is not already equipped with one.

The part number of the tether anchor kit is FW-50250-12-ZY.

The child safety seats are sold only through durable medical equipment dealers for use by children with special needs.

Snug Seat will automatically mail free metal ring kits and repair instructions to registered customers. Contact Snug Seat at (800) 336-7684 to request a free repair kit. Customers should continue using their seats pending receipt of the replacement parts.

For information, call (800) 336-7684 or write: Snug Seat Inc., 12801 E. Independence Blvd., Stallings, NC 28105. Consumers also may call NHTSA’s toll-free Auto Safety Hotline at DASH-2-DOT (888) 327-4236.

Young’s J.K. Inc., of Portland, Ore., is recalling 500 novelty cigarette lighters because they lack child-resistant mechanisms required by law. Young children can ignite the lighters, presenting fire and burn hazards.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has received one report of a 2-year-old using one of these lighters to ignite an upholstered chair. The fire resulted in the death of his 6-year-old brother and permanent brain damage to the 2-year-old.

The refillable, dolphin-shaped cigarette lighters are butane gas-fueled and made of metal. There are three models involved in this recall. One of the lighters features a dolphin with a large ball and is labeled “1988.8 Young’s Wholes 14.9.” Another lighter features a single dolphin and is labeled “00005011 $14.00 EA.” The last model features two dolphins and a ball, and has no label.

Gas stations, smoke shops, grocery, gift and liquor stores sold the lighters in Oregon and Southwest Washington from 1996 through October 2001 for $8 to $20.

Consumers should stop using the lighters immediately, and return them to the store where purchased for a refund. For more information, call Young’s J.K. collect at (503) 998-9801 during business hours.

The First Years Inc., of Avon, Mass., is providing a new instruction sheet for 120,000 “2-in-1” Fold-Away Tub and Step Stools to help ensure proper use of the item because of a pinching hazard. When the product is used as a tub, babies can be pinched if the product’s footrest is not fully extended until it clicks firmly into place.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and First Years have received 20 reports of babies being pinched while using these tubs, including one bruising of a baby boy’s genitalia and 10 reports of abrasions to toes and feet.

These products show model number 3141 on the underside of the base. The product is a folding baby bathtub that can be used as a step stool for an older child. In the step stool position, the top of the turquoise lid has raised lettering that reads “The First Years.” Also, on the underside of the base is a tiny raised clock showing the year of manufacture of the product (e.g., “9 ↑ 9”) surrounded by the numbers of the clock. Only products bearing date codes 1999 and 2000 (“9 ↑ 9” or “0 ↑ 0”) are included in this program.

Mass merchants nationwide sold these bathtub/stools between January 1999 and February 2002 for about $17.

Consumers should not use the bathtub until they receive revised instructions on the use of the tub to prevent the pinching hazard. Contact First Years at (800) 533-6708 or to receive free revised instructions and a warning label to attach to the product.

The Betesh Group of New York, N.Y., is recalling 11,200 “Busy Bug” plush toys because the antennae of the plush toy can be chewed or pulled off, posing a choking hazard to young children.

The Betesh Group and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission have received two reports of children gagging on the fabric antennae ends that separated from the toy.

The recalled toy is a small plush bug with two springy black antennae with orange round fabric ends. The bug has a red musical nose that blinks when pressed. The body of the bug is segmented in various colors and patterns. Striped elastic legs are attached to the body along with crinkly, iridescent wings. “Smart Scents” is printed on a label on the side of the bug. The UPC code 778267862920 is on the packaging.

Discount department stores sold these recalled toys from August 2002 through January 2003 for about $7.

Consumers should take the plush toys away from young children and return to the place of purchase. Or return the toy by mail to obtain a refund, including postage, to: The Betesh Group, One East 33rd Street, New York, NY 10016, Attn: Consumer Relations. For more information, contact Betesh toll free at (866) 473-0118.

Random House Inc., of New York, N.Y., is recalling 360,000 children’s board book sets because their plastic snaps can detach and pose a choking hazard.

No injuries have been reported.

The recalled sets, which feature children’s characters on the front of the box and colored plastic handles, are titled Monsters To Go! Disney Princess — Disney the Princess Collection 2, Disney’s Winnie the Pooh — a Very Merry Christmas and Barbie — MyBarbie Fun Box. Each book set contains four board books. Only book sets with plastic snaps are included in the recall; those with metal snaps are not recalled.

Book, discount department stores and online retailers sold the recalled books nationwide from August 2002 through January 2003 for about $10.

Consumers should immediately cut off the lid of the box with the plastic snaps and throw away the rest of the box. Send the lid with the plastic snaps to Tri-State, c/o Anthony Armetta, 325 Rabro Drive, Hauppauge, NY 11788 to receive a free replacement book set and a refund for postage. For information, contact Random House at (800) 805-8534 or