Gift that keeps on giving

Oh, oh. While you’d like to be associated with your nieces’ and nephews’ holiday memories, you’d hope it wouldn’t be as the uncle and aunt responsible for that permanent scar.

We were quite happy this past Christmas to be able to give one of our nieces a gift she evidently very much wanted–an Easy-Bake Oven. So it caused a bit of unease this morning to see that Hasbro Inc. is recalling nearly a million of the miniature kitchen appliances. According to an e-mail our niece sent Kathy a week or so ago, she’s had occasion to use her Easy-Bake to whip up a miniature cake or brownies or something, with no report of tragic misadventure. Apparently, though, it is possible for kids to get their fingers or hands caught in the opening to the oven, creating the potential for burns. Yikes!

According to a U.S. Product Safety Commission statement posted on Hasbro’s Easy-Bake site, the company’s Easy-Bake unit has received 29 reports of kids getting hands or fingers stuck in the oven, and five reports of burns. The company is offering a free retrofit kit along with a warning, and advising parents to take the oven away from children younger than eight.

While as an uncle and gift-giver I’m distressed about the Easy-Bake recall, I have every confidence that the situation will be resolved satisfactorily. Afterall, we’re talking about a toy that’s been around more than 40 years here, and one that last year was inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame!


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