Saved from a Fate Worse Than Buttons!

Hi Folks! This jacket was recalled because it is coated in e-coli, contains a colony of venomous spiders in the left pocket, and was woven from the fur of rabid jackals.

Oh, wait…no. It says here on the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s website that it was recalled because its elastic waistband has “a toggle that could become snagged or caught in small spaces or doorways, which poses an entrapment hazard to children.”

Nice to know we are being protected from the terrible toggles! – L

Picture of recalled Boys Outerwear Jacket

70 Responses

  1. “Woven from the fur of rabid jackals”

    Still catching my breath from laughing.

  2. Wait, if the toggle trapped Junior in a doorway, couldn’t he just unzip the jacket to free himself?

  3. Wait a sec- the tank top I am wearing today keeps catching the lace on everything I go by…. I think it should be recalled!

  4. My pockets catch on the knobs on my kitchen drawers all day long. I should sue.

  5. Wait a second, I just realized…ALL pants, shirts (T’s or collared), skirts, dresses, jackets, coats, hats, scarves, shoes, socks, and underwear, can all get snagged (and has) on almost anything. Maybe we should just all walk around naked. Oh wait, then they’ll probably say that’s to dangerous too, because of all the debris on the ground we can step on, and the perverts and pedophiles that could be eying all of us. And where would we put our car and house keys? We wouldn’t be able to keep our doors locked without someone at home at all times. So then maybe we should stay indoors all the time. But then again, if we stay indoors all the time, we could hurt ourselves going down the stairs, or cutting ourselves with knives, or burning ourselves when we cook. Dang! Why don’t we all just get ourselves put in cryo-status. That way we can sleep indefinitely and not have to worry about this paranoid world, and we’ll be well protected in deep freeze chambers. But wait…what if something goes wrong with the cryogenics system that we are using… lol

  6. I’m confused. How could this toggle get caught in a doorway? Doorways are, well, as big as doors. What am I missing?

  7. Why don’t companies like this just tell the truth. Put it on their products. “Due to the unlikely, but remotely possible entrapment of these jackets, and to be absolved of any lawsuits, purchase and wear at your own risk. In purchasing this product, you accept the Terms of Service, and release Umbro and all it’s employees and affiliates from any liability.” Would save them millions from recall. Or better yet, make them millions from not having to pull them from the racks. lol

  8. @ Beth…paranoia of lawsuits. Because there are individuals, who for whatever reason, gets themselves into bizarre predicaments, and decide to sue a company for their own stupidity. A quick way to make a fast buck.

  9. Beth–you are missing childhood obesity epidemic. As they try to squeeze their way through standard doors…

  10. Well, Beth, if you’re like me, you could just run into the door jamb half the time, no matter the width of the door, because your aim is just good like that. Maybe we should outlaw doors because I get bruises.

  11. Clothing is dangerous. Take it off. It’s for the children!

  12. Reminds me of when the daycare took the string out of my sons hoodie because it was so dangerous.

  13. We had an Occupational Health and Safety issue at work because the lanyard for our security passes could get caught in doors. So they had to replace them all with lanyards with a release thingy. And these are all adults!

  14. Please note that the government web site on this issue reports no known incidents of actual problems with the jacket. Of course, as some have noted, clothing is dangerous. But leaving the kids undressed is worse considering that reliable estimates show that 114% of all adults are known sex offeders.

  15. I’ve got a toggle on my jacket and I’ve never become entrapped. But, I do get some odd stares at the grocery store sometimes. Occasionally the toggle runs along the side of my cart as I’m reaching to get something off the shelf and it makes this funny xylophone noise. Is that possibly a listening hazard?

  16. So true, cls. Statistics also show that 3/4 of people make up 75% of the world’s population. And that 14 out of 10 people love chocolate….love getting the kids with that!

    Personally I think the true danger in that jacket is the colour. Red is known by the Mexicans and Spaniards to attract bulls. I do not allow my children to wear the colour red, on account of all the wild bulls we have rampaging in our streets. And also the sheep tend to get alarmed by it :-)

  17. I was at an american friends house yesterday (in australia) and she had some american parenting magazines. I read through and found so many oh no be careful of this…. It recommended cutting grapes in half for the under 4 set, recalls of items that barely had anything posing a hazard. I’m sure australian magazine as just as bad, but I hadnt noticed so much in my reading of them… I feed my 2 year old grapes all the time .. didnt know I was meant to be cutting them!

  18. I’m confused. How could this toggle get caught in a doorway? Doorways are, well, as big as doors. What am I missing?

    I think this recall is due to the issue of toggles, scarves etc that children were wearing that have become caught in closing bus doors, un-noticed, causing the child to be dragged by the bus.

    Although it has not happened often, it is an accident that is easy enough to prevent just by the design of the toggles. Standards have been created for toggles etc to ensure they are made to break in these situations.

    These particular toggles must not have been made within the required standards.

  19. “I’m confused. How could this toggle get caught in a doorway? Doorways are, well, as big as doors. What am I missing?”

    I think this recall is due to the issue of toggles, scarves etc that children were wearing that have become caught in closing bus doors, un-noticed, causing the child to be dragged by the bus.

    Although it has not happened often, it is an accident that is easy enough to prevent just by the design of the toggles. Standards have been created for toggles etc to ensure they are made to break in these situations.

    These particular toggles must not have been made within the required standards.

  20. “Wait, if the toggle trapped Junior in a doorway, couldn’t he just unzip the jacket to free himself?”

    Because when he’s caught in the jump door of a burning airplane, unzipping the jacket would mean removing the parachute. He would die either way.

    THINK, Lollipoplover, THINK!

  21. A lot of the recalls of childrens products are stupid. I’m surprised that they use pencils in school.

  22. In my district all lanyards have to be breakaway because of incidents like this http://www.wkrn.com/story/15482828/boy-5-nearly-strangled-by-school-id-tag-on-playground

    Before my students go to recess or PE, they know to tuck any type of necklace/lanyard under their tops. I’m sick of crawling on the playground looking for missing keys/charms because a necklace snapped when it got caught on equipment or someone else’s hand/finger.

    Personally I don’t think kids that are going to be running around playing should have loose jewelry on. Things get broken kids get upset. The hoops my 2nd graders wear are ridiculous.

  23. I was reading this while eating and almost choked while laughing. Should we outlaw beef and broccoli, laughter, or this post??

  24. I am imaging a generation of adults that fAll victim to toggles due to lack of early experiences with them.. XD

  25. So it is impossible to remove the jacket?

  26. Ok I can *almost* understand banning strings around the neck: ie hoodie strings, hats that tie on, etc. Almost. For kids under a certain age. Clearly not being able to breathe is a bad thing; and kids do sometimes do rather crazy things, and sometimes kids that are being strangled don’t struggle – so not breathing, and not indicating there’s a problem is understandably scary.

    But… something tight around your waste? Ummm… You should be able to free yourself. Yes, it would suck if it were stuck in a train/subway doors, but at some point you just have to accept nothing is 100% safe and there’s a reason there’s conductors, and in many places emergency-off switches on the platform.

    But, I guess, rules are rules. Which is why I have to buy “women’s small” hats to get ties so that my kids have hats that stay on their heads, keep their ears warm, and actually work ;)

  27. Things get broken kids get upset.

    And we can’t have that. No child should ever have to mourn the loss of anything they own due to their own negligence.

  28. I’ve noticed that none of my baby’s hoods can tie shut, which means they fall off her head, which means her head isn’t covered. Next time she gets a cold, I’m suing!

  29. But… what about the potential frostbite or hypothermia from not having a jacket with a draw-string waist? Oh, wait… kids are safer not ever being outside. Silly me.

  30. Wouldn’t the kid have to be exiting the bus or whatever *backward* to entangle a toggle on the *front* of the jacket?

    And don’t you suppose the elastic cord would break before the kid was dragged anywhere? It’s not climbing rope.

    And who are all these bus drivers who don’t notice a kid stuck in the doors of the bus while going down the road?

  31. ” Things get broken kids get upset.

    And we can’t have that. No child should ever have to mourn the loss of anything they own due to their own negligence.”

    And they should never learn to be careful with their things, by means of consequences. Kids learn so well just from being told, without ever experiencing the consequences of their own carelessness/disobedience — NOT.

  32. “I’ve noticed that none of my baby’s hoods can tie shut, which means they fall off her head, which means her head isn’t covered. Next time she gets a cold, I’m suing!”

    Since I’m a private citizen, I think I’m allowed to say this: sew ribbons on them.

  33. I remember being scolded by a lady because I didn’t give my one year cheerios cut in quarters. I gave her a whole cheerio or maybe even two at a time. At home I might even put half a dozen on her highchair. My daughter usually gummed it because she didn’t have any teeth. This lady wanted to know every bite of food her daughter ever ate. She had a nanny occassionally and she would premeasure and pack all the food she wanted her daughter to eat. She is ten now and I wonder if she does that with her and younger sister.

  34. When my son was in elementary school many years ago (and they just started putting toggles on jackets) we had a note sent home from his school that they would ask parent’s to remove them as they could get caught in play equipment thus causing injury to the child. Well, I loved toggles because you could tighten the strings to the hood of his jackets to form-fit around his head. Seemed great and as we live where its cold at least 6 months of the year, that item now on jackets made sense but NOT to school officials :(

    So far as the “cut the grapes, cheerios, take the skin off of hotdogs, don’t let your toddler eat popcorn; he’ll choke” malarky ….. I didn’t do any of these things and my son never choked. All this paranoia sounds like my overbearing mother-in-law !!!!! LOL

  35. I’m a victim. I’m traumatized. I have a jacket with toggles like that. I should be dead, or seriously hurt, or slightly bruised. Why am I OK? How is this possible? Those toggles have become stuck in doors, bannisters, chairs, and once even on my bicycle. Every time, the toggle was the loser. They come loose from the jacket, or in a few occasions, break and need to be replaced. Granted, I’m a little bigger than the average five-year-old, but still…

    Personally, I’m shocked that nobody has realized that things can get stuck in the zipper and has tried to outlaw zippers in general.

  36. I have toggles like that on one of my jackets at the neck and my kids are always pulling on them and watching them snap back in my face. Should I call the company about a recall?

  37. Sharon, seriously? That woman is raising a couple of walking eating disorders!

  38. On the choking thing.
    I was serving my four children lunch and put a handful of fresh cherries on my toddler’s plate, then put it in front of him. I turned back to the counter to make the next PB&J (yeah, peanut butter. It was for the 6yo). When I turned back, I saw the little guy had eaten the cherries. The whole thing, pits and all.
    In an abundance of caution, I called the pediatrician’s office to find out if the pits were toxic or if I should just watch for them in the diaper. The nurse went Inquisitional–“You gave him cherries? Didn’t you hear him cough? Or sputter? How many did you give him?” “Five or six, a handful-ish.” “Which is it, five or six?!”
    I did learn cherry pits are nontoxic, but got a grilling before she managed to tell me that.

  39. Uh oh, my 13 year old nephew somehow managed to snag his thumb in the pocket of his pants while running from the kitchen to the living room, and sprained the ligaments. Should we now outlaw pockets? I’d prefer my SIL’s response to him….how’d you do that, dumb a$$??

  40. “So it is impossible to remove the jacket?”

    You certainly can remove the jacket if it is just stuck on sOmething that’s not moving.

    The issue is when it is caught in the door of a piece of moving playground equipment or a bus and you are being dragged behind, it becomes extremely difficult if not impossible to undo the jacket and free yourself – even more so if you are just a child.

  41. Jeanette, that kind of logic seems to be lost on a segment of the population.

  42. ” “So it is impossible to remove the jacket?”

    You certainly can remove the jacket if it is just stuck on sOmething that’s not moving.

    The issue is when it is caught in the door of a piece of moving playground equipment or a bus and you are being dragged behind, it becomes extremely difficult if not impossible to undo the jacket and free yourself – even more so if you are just a child.”

    They aren’t made of carbon fiber. They break! I can imagine the whole jacket ripping. Anyway I thought they didn’t allow moving Playground equipment anymore…..

  43. Actually jackets, toggles, and the strings they are attached to can be incredibly strong if not made of intentionally weak and breakable material. A 5 year old child can easily be dragged and injured or killed if caught in something moving.

    It’s the same reason people who work in construction or factories don’t wear rings or clothing with dangling strings – these things can get caught in equipment & cause serious injury.

  44. I find it surprising that people would object to safety measures in the design of children’s clothing.
    It doesn’t cost you anything, it’s not any big inconvenience, and it adds a measure of increased safety.
    What is the problem with it?

  45. Really Susan? There’s no cost involved in a recall? The company doesn’t lose?

  46. “I think this recall is due to the issue of toggles, scarves etc that children were wearing that have become caught in closing bus doors, un-noticed, causing the child to be dragged by the bus.”

    Hmmm. Toggles are on the front of jackets a few inches from the children. The only way this is possible is if a bus driver waits until a child gets right up to the door of the bus, slams the door, thus catching the toggle, and then drives off pulling the child. For this you are seriously blaming THE TOGGLE?

  47. ” The only way this is possible is if a bus driver waits until a child gets right up to the door of the bus, slams the door, thus catching the toggle, and then drives off pulling the child. For this you are seriously blaming THE TOGGLE?”

    Actually the way it usually happens is that the child has the jacket on but not zipped up, and it gets caught.

    While you might think all the child has to do is remove the caught jacket, it is actually more difficult than you would think to remove.

    Once caught in something that is moving, if the string or toggle does not break, the child is dragged, knocked off their feet and it takes more effort and presence of mind for the child to remove the clothing.

    It’s a simple inexpensive quality standard that can save a life. No it doesn’t happen frequently but when it does you are very thankful for the safety measure – just like you are with bicycle helmets, special car baby seats, and car seat belts.

  48. @ http://www.wkrn.com/story/15482828/boy-5-nearly-strangled-by-school-id-tag-on-playground

    Wait… school ID tags? So the students are treated like dogs?

    @Susan

    But couldn’t the edge of the actual jacket get caught just the same? Or an edge of shirts or pants? Maybe everyone should just wear break-away clothes.

  49. Again, even unzipped the toggles are on the front of the jacket and an inch or so from the child. The bus driver has to be closing the door after the child has barely made it outside the doorway in order for a toggle to be caught in the closing door. How the backpack has even cleared the doorway at that point is beyond me. There is no possible way that a toggle can be caught unknowingly in a bus door if the bus driver waits until the child gets down the steps before shutting the bus door. Seems like a prudent course of action for many reasons. So how about we admonish bus drivers for prematurely slamming doors on children and not blame toggles for getting caught when bus drivers prematurely slam doors on children.

  50. Well Donna as hard as it might be to imagine it happening it does happen, and it has happened enough time for safety & quality standards to be created for children’s clothing.
    Why should there be a problem with these quality standards? Whatever is there to object to?

  51. Wow. I own a horse. Horses are prey animals who run away when they get scared. In the interests of sometimes leaving the horse somewhere and still finding him there on my return, I taught him to stand still while tied up, and not panic if he pulls back and feels the pressure of the halter. He has learnt that if he fiddles with the lead rope long enough, he can untie the quick release knot and wander off… keeps me on my toes.

    My child overtook my horse in terms of reasoning ability when she was still a tiny tot. So I’m pretty sure that if by some unlucky chance the toggle got caught somewhere most kids could figure out that they must unhook it, ask for help, or as a last resort remove the jacket. I do see how this can be a problem if the thing they are hooked onto is moving but really the chances of that happening are minuscule. The usefulness of toggles outweigh the risks imo. Isn’t that what so much of life is made up of – weighing up the pro’s and cons?

  52. Heila,
    Yes most kids can figure that out at a very young age.
    The issue is when the toggle and string are attached to something that is moving such as playground equipment or a car or a school bus or city bus.
    When the bus departs and begins to drag the child is often when they notice they are caught in it. As they are being dragged it is very difficult for even an adult to be physically or mentally able to remove the jacket. You are usually knocked off your feet by the unexpected and forceful pull. It is of course the times when the driver doesn’t notice soon enough that really bad injuries occur.

  53. I am expecting that many of you would be against car seat belts, baby seats in cars, bicycle helmets and other “safety” equipment – they as well are constructed to protect against the rare occurrence .

  54. Actually my child sat strapped into a car seat until she outgrew her booster, and will never ride in a car without a seatbelt on. She wears a properly fitting bicycle helmet when riding her bike and a riding helmet and boots when riding or working with a horse. The chances of her being involved in a car, biking or horse accident are much larger than the probability of the toggle on her jacket getting caught on something moving. Susan I think this is the point you’re missing, it’s all about the relative possibility of something happening. Yes we can protect our kids against a lot of things in life but somewhere you have to draw the line.

  55. Heila, I’m actually surprised that you do these things. The probabilities are not really high. It’s a thing people do for protection against that rare but potentially catastrophic event.
    You insure your car or house? Same thing too!
    It’s the same concept at work for safety in children’s clothing, cutting grapes & hot dogs in half before feeding them to babies & toddlers, helmets etc

  56. @Susan–I agree with Preachestochoirs in saying that couldn’t anything get caught like that? A jacket that is not zipped up, a girl’s long ponytail, a backpack, a skirt, etc. Anything that is not practically pasted on could get caught. Maybe our kids should switch to all wearing form-fitting clothes that have nothing attached to them, like biker shorts and exercise outfits all the time to prevent the risk of getting caught on something.

  57. Was there not a big hoopla about kids getting cords and toggles of coats caught between the doors of the schoolbus a couple of years ago? I believe several kids were killed that way because the bus took off with kid still attached and kid getting dragged for quite some etc?

  58. Hmm.. interesting! I just googled ‘caught between doors schoolbus’ and got TWO separate cases, within three months of eachother, of a kid getting their BACKPACKS caught between the doors of the schoolbus without the driver noticing and getting dragged by the bus.

    Apparantly we should ban backpacks as well.

  59. Yes, Susan, because car accidents and getting a toggle stuck in a moving bus are the exact same thing. The average person gets into 10 car accidents in a lifetime (per my defensive driving class). In fact, there were 10.8 million car accidents in the US alone in 2009 (last year I quickly found statistics). Of those, 35,900 were fatal. I couldn’t find evidence of a single death-by-toggle incident EVER. Allowing for the possibility that there was a random, fluke instance of a toggle getting stuck in a bus and killing a child, there certainly aren’t 10.8 million of them a year.

    Therein lies your problem. You cannot differentiate between a common, daily risk – say a car accident – and a possibility that MAY, under the right set of bizarre circumstances happen, once – say a toggle getting stuck on a moving bus.

  60. Let’s stop feeding the troll.

  61. I take that back. I did find one child killed when his jacket got caught in the railing of a bus in 1997. It was determined that a bus defect caused the death, not the jacket strings themselves.

    I have also seen instances of several people getting random things caught in bus doors, including one neck. I suppose we should ban all items on the bus, including apparently appendages such as heads.

  62. I’m surprised y’all haven’t mentioned lift doors, or wringer washing machines. Heads and possibly toggles get stuck in these. On occasions so rare you probably have more chance of being abducted by a Vulcan (damn, wouldn’t that be fun!). And getting your head stuck in a lift door is rather more drastic than getting a toggle stuck in one. According to my husband, at least, who spends rather more than should be strictly necessary rescuing people (heads fortunately intact)from lifts, and their keys and various other implements from the doors and lift pits.

    As for wringer washing machines, if you choose to wear a toggle round your neck while operating one, you’re really asking to get strangled…..

  63. Though I suppose the wringer should crush the toggle – those babies are tough!

  64. [...] The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) stands guard against them. [Lenore Skenazy, Free-Range Kids] [...]

  65. Susan I can only assume that you’re not very familiar with cars, bikes or horses if you think accidents with those are rare. I’ve fallen off my horse more times than I care to remember. As for house insurance, we’ve been burgled 4 times in 6 years. In the latest one, 3 weeks ago, we lost two laptops. I’m still waiting for any part of my child’s clothing to get stuck in a moving vehicle or piece of play equipment.

  66. Susan, people wear seatbelts, helmets, and buy insurance and so forth because accidents with cars, bikes, horses, and homes happen every single day to a lot of people.

    That is different from something that has happened one time, to one person. You really would not want to live in a world where everything that had as low a risk and incidence as a child being seriously hurt by a jacket toggle was remedied by some “simple measures” (mandated by law) as you suggest. You would hardly be able to walk out of your bedroom in the morning for all the safeguards and restrictions placed in your path. Risk CANNOT be judged by whether something “could” happen and whether something “could” be done to prevent it. The actual LIKELIHOOD of the danger has to be balanced against the PRACTICALITY of the measure to prevent it. In this case, teaching bus drivers to keep the vehicle stationary until the children have safely left the vehicle (which is already done) is about a million times more practical AND effective in stopping accidents with kids getting caught on doors, toggles or no (besides being basic safety that prevents innumerable other dangers.) That could be why it’s only ever happened once.

  67. Susan: bubububububub governmeeeeennnnnnnt

    The point is that the government did something and the government is always wrong therefore this is wrong. Welcome to Free Range Kids.

  68. Recalls should be optional until accidents are sufficient in number to reach actuarial tables or maybe at least 10 occurrences per year. Less than that and a warning about current product and a change in design for new products should be sufficient. Otherwise we will end up in a society where houses with children are not allowed to have ladders or stairs for that matter.
    Several years ago while waiting outside a restaurant that had a peastone gravel driveway my then 3 year old son picked up one of the stones. I watched and did nothing and my son dropped the stone back on the ground. A woman in line came up to me a said she learned a lot about my reaction as had it been her son she said she would have taken the stone away immediately. What she learned was that her automatic assumption that the child will put the stone is his mouth caused her to deny her son the wonders of exploring his world.
    Susan’s response to a very rare but traumatic event would suggest that her children (if any) will be leading VERY sheltered lives. Or maybe she thinks we should ban stones too.

  69. [...] Boys’ Jackets — read about that one here.  This issue was also covered in this [...]

  70. I remember reading a book I really liked when I was little. It was called Mrs Toggle’s Zipper and this post suddenly reminded me of it! Very fitting too. Mrs Toggle gets stuck in her coat and is just fit to be tied.

    Perhaps someone read this book too many times and has a jacket fastener phobia..?
    :)

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