A freebie for children in the form of bracelet, distributed by Reebok, for purchase of children's shoes has been found to contain high levels of lead. Health Canada has advised parents to chuck the potentially harmful charm bracelets.
The bracelet's heart shaped charm, which carries the Reebok logo, was swallowed by a 4 year old boy in Minnesota, and the boy dies a few days later. Jarnell Brown of Minneapolis, barely four years old, died on Feb. 22, a few days after he had swallowed the charm. His blood lead levels were found to be three times higher, which would have warranted emergency medical treatment. The charm was found to contain very high lead levels, almost 99%.
Reebok has initiated an international recall of 300,000 of the 20-centimetre eight-inch long metal bracelets last week. Health Canada has issued a warning to cast away the bracelets in household waste. The bracelet becomes poisonous, if a child sucks or chews on the charm, though there is no harm by simply wearing it.
Paul Harrington, president and CEO of Reebok, said "the entire Reebok family was saddened by the tragic death. Personally as parents, and professionally as a brand committed to human rights and a healthy, active lifestyle for adults and youth, we extend our deepest sympathies to the child's family."