TRENTON – A measure to 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 unanimously approved today by the full Senate.
“Taking care of our children and making sure that they grow up to be healthy and productive adults should be our number one priority,” said Senator Madden, D-Camden and Gloucester. “New Jersey ranks fourth in the entire nation for deaths caused by these dangerous toys. We, as parents and concerned legislators, must make sure that these toys are banned, so they don’t claim the lives of any more of our children.”
Senator Madden’s bill, S-780, would make selling the waterballs an unlawful practice under the Consumer Fraud Act, and retailers caught selling the toys 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 the toys from stores.
The yo-yos are made of a rubbery substance and have 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 a liquid which contains toxic and flammable ingredients.
These yo-yos are currently banned in Illinois, Canada and throughout Europe.
This measure now heads to the Assembly for approval.