Parents say this McDonald's Happy Meal toy was burning their kids

Aug 18, 2016 at 12:12 p.m. ET
Image: Kristian Dowling/Getty Images

Whenever a kid orders a Happy Meal, they're usually only after one thing: the toy. Kid's meal toys are as much a part of childhood as sidewalk chalk or the tooth fairy, and while they're usually cheaply made and don't do a whole lot, they're mostly harmless. But a recent Happy Meal toy from McDonald's is proving to be anything but safe. In fact, parents are actually complaining after they say the toy allegedly injured their kids.

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Earlier this month, McDonald's rolled out a new Happy Meal toy called the Step-It pedometer. It's basically a digital step counter with a plastic wristband that's fashioned to look like the Fitbits and smartwatches that so many kids see their parents wearing. The toy is supposed to encourage physical activity, but instead, it seems it's actually hurting kids who wear it too long.

Indianapolis mom Casey Collyar recently wrote on Facebook that the toy left a burn mark on her son's wrist after only eight minutes of him wearing it. She posted pictures of the toy, as well as her son's arm with a clear burn mark. "If your kids have this happy meal toy do not let them play with it," she wrote. "The toy has a red light in it that is powered by the battery on the back that possibly is the cause of the burn."


The Facebook post has been shared 124,000 times since it went up. In the comments on the post, Collyar wrote that she contacted a manager at her local McDonald's, who promised to put in a call to the toy's vendor. Others have reported skin irritations from the devices.

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McDonald's has since pulled the toy from all Happy Meals, but there are still thousands of people out there who've gotten one and likely don't know it poses a risk.

A Happy Meal toy is the last thing most parents would expect to be dangerous, but this incident is a good reminder that even things intended for kids can pose a risk. A burn is a pretty extreme consequence of playing with something from a kid's meal, but it's not uncommon for those kinds of toys to have small parts or other components that could be hazardous. It never hurts to be vigilant, and it was smart of this mom to post a warning for other parents as soon as she realized there was a problem.

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It's unclear what exactly is causing the burns — it could be the light the mom pointed out or something else entirely — and it's hard to say if every toy poses a risk. But, if your kids have gotten one of these in their Happy Meals in the past few weeks, you might want to consider confiscating it for their own safety. A toy with the potential to cause burn marks or skin irritation definitely isn't one you want laying around.

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