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My toddler was injured by a needle in a Beanie Baby

Ty Beanie Baby
Ouch ... Beanie Baby had a 5cm needle in its side. Photograph: Alice Sandham

My two-year-old was recently given a new Ty Beanie Baby but after cuddling it she came away with a scratched face. I ran my fingers along the outside of the toy and was shocked to find a needle 5cm long. It looked as if it was from a machine, as the eye seemed too small and the needle too bendy for hand sewing. I contacted Ty immediately, in case it needed to do a product recall.

I received a holding email in mid-September but no further response. I contacted the company again and was told that it had been forwarded to the relevant department.

I appreciate freak accidents can happen in manufacturing but, given my toddler was hurt, I felt the least Ty could do was tell me how it might have happened and what they planned to do to prevent it happening again. AS, Cambridge

Your concern was of the risk to others. You could have reported this to trading standards (Consumer Helpline 0345 404 0506) which would have investigated.

Ty is a major global toy company with its head office in Chicago and a complex international supply chain.

We contacted its UK operations which said you must have emailed the USA as it was not aware of the incident. You sent the needle and toy to them, since when the needle has enjoyed a world tour of its own, being flown to head office and then despatched to the Chinese manufacturer.

Ty UK insists the needle is not of the type used during manufacturing – the thread in the product is too thick to even go through the eye. In addition, two lots of metal detectors – used after manufacture and after packing and before shipment – would have picked it up.

It concludes that “this was unquestionably” introduced after the product was sold. “Whether this was the result of sabotage or a post-sale accident, we are understandably concerned and upset. Ensuring our products are safe is our highest priority.”

It added: “As far as we know, the customer wanted only to alert us to the issue in case it was a flaw in our manufacturing (it wasn’t). We will work with the customer to properly thank her for bringing this to our attention.”

We have urged you to get trading standards – which might take it more seriously – to investigate.

We welcome letters but cannot answer individually. Email us at consumer.champions@theguardian.com or write to Consumer Champions, Money, the Guardian, 90 York Way, London N1 9GU. Please include a daytime phone number

This article titled "My toddler was injured by a needle in a Beanie Baby" was written by Rebecca Smithers, for theguardian.com on Sunday 22 October 2017 06.00am

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