The Consumer Protection Safety Commission has released the full details of the McDonald’s recall related to its “Step-iT” activity wristbands. The toy fitness trackers were recalled following reports of skin irritations, blisters, and possible skin burns.
The Step-iTs are a crude fitness tracker device that come in two forms. One is an Activity Counter that tracks the wearer’s movements like a pedometer and the other is a Light-up Band that blinks lights in response to motion. Though a far cry from more sophisticated digital devices like a Fitbit, the toys are part of the restaurant chain’s ongoing efforts to improve its health image. For instance, Happy Meals began to include apple slices as of 2012.
It is not clear at this time why the toys would be able to cause skin irritation, but McDonald’s has confirmed receiving at least 70 reports of injuries related to the wristbands and at least seven have involved blisters. In one widely-circulated Facebook post, a mother shows pictures of a small burn her child received after only wearing it for “about 8 minutes”.
McDonald’s has promised to fully investigate the matter and may release their findings when they are obtained. Since the wristbands were manufactured in China, the investigation would presumably involve looking in to how they were produced. For now, the recall affects roughly 29 million activity wristbands in the United States and an additional 3.6 million in Canada that were distributed through Happy Meals and Mighty Kids Meals. Anyone who still has a wristband is urged to take it away from any children and to return the item to their closest McDonald’s in exchange for a replacement toy along with a yogurt tube or bag of apple slices.
McDonald’s is also operating a consumer contact line to help inform people about the recall. Questions can be asked by dialing 800-244-6227 from 7am to 7pm CT. Alternatively, consumers can go to the McDonald’s website and click the “Safety Recall” link. Any further reports of blisters or other skin irritations tied to the activity wristbands can be reported here.
“McDonald’s Recalls ‘Step-iT’ Activity Wristbands Due to Risk of Skin Irritation or Burns,” CPSC website, August 23, 2016; http://www.cpsc.gov/en/Recalls/2016/McDonalds-Recalls-Step-iT-Activity-Wristbands/, last accessed August 25, 2016.
Collyar, C., Facebook post, August 13, 2016; https://www.facebook.com/travisncasey.collyar/posts/10210392898287674, last accessed August 25, 2016.