WASHINGTON (AP) _ At least 10 million zippered bean bag chairs are being recalled because they can be hazardous to children.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission learned of five deaths and at least 12 other cases in which children have inhaled or ingested some of the bean bag filling, a spokeswoman said Thursday.

In some cases, they unzipped and crawled into the bags where they choked on the small foam pellets inside. Other times, they choked while playing with the pellets outside of the bag, the commission said.

The zippered bags were sold nationwide through 1994. Stores included Caldor, F.W. Woolworth, Harts Stores, J.C. Penney, Kmart, Montgomery Ward, Rich's, Sears Roebuck & Co., Toys `R' Us and Walmart, the commission said.

Bags currently being sold are glued at the seams to keep the pellets inside and away from children, spokeswoman Kathleen Begala said.

Consumers should stop using any bean bag chairs with zippers and take them away from children immediately, Begala said. They also should check for a label identifying the manufacturer and contact the company _ or the safety commission hot line at 800-638-2772 _ for repair instructions.

The nine companies involved are: Ace Bayou Corp. of New Orleans; Ace Novelty of Bellvue, Wash.; American Bean Bag Co. of Corona, Calif.; American Home Furnishings Corp. of Ft. Wayne, Ind.; Colortex USA of Ft. Smith, Ark.; Gold Medal of Richmond, Va.; Jordan Manufacturing Co. of Monticello, Ind.; Mr. Bean Bag of Garland, Texas; and Now Products of Chicago.

The recall was announced jointly by manufacturers and the Consumer Product Safety Commission.