TRENTON – A measure sponsored by Senator Fred H. Madden that would ban the sale of “yo-yo waterballs,” which have been blamed for the strangulation deaths of hundreds of children in the United States was approved today by the Senate Commerce Committee.
“New Jersey ranks fourth in the nation for injuries from these yo-yo waterballs,” said Senator Madden, D-Camden and Gloucester, who is also a member of the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee. ” Passing this bill would make it clear that New Jersey takes the safety of children very seriously.”
Under Senator Madden’s bill, S-780, selling the yo-yo’s would constitute an unlawful practice under the Consumer Fraud Act, and retailers would be fined up to $20,000. The bill would also allow families of victims to sue retailers for damages. Police officers would be authorized to confiscate yo-yo waterballs from stores.
The yo-yos are made of a rubbery substance with an elastic cord. Most often, children are injured by bouncing the balls and getting the cord wrapped around their necks. The toys are also filled with liquid, which contains toxic and flammable ingredients.
The yo-yos are currently banned in Illinois, Canada and throughout Europe.
The measure now awaits a vote by the full Senate.