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State Investigating ‘Slap Bracelets’ After Girl’s Injury

October 11, 1990

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) _ A 4-year-old girl’s cut finger prompted state officials to begin investigating the safety of a type of ″slap bracelet.″

Walgreens pulled a Taiwan-made brand of the popular toys from 16 Connecticut stores after the girl’s father complained.

The toy consists of a 9-inch strip of metal encased in cloth. When the strip is slapped against the wrist, it wraps itself around a wearer’s arm.

When Nicole Tomaso wrapped the bracelet she got at Walgreens around her wrist Tuesday, a piece of metal popped out of the cloth and she cut her finger, said her father, Joseph Tomaso.

Nicole’s bracelet was a copy of Slap Wraps, which are made by Main Street Toy in Simsbury and have become a fad with children. Slap Wraps sell for $2.49; the imitations cost 99 cents.

The state Department of Consumer Protection on Wednesday began investigating the Taiwan-made bracelets for possibly dangerous sharp edges, said Joan Jordan, the department’s product safety supervisor.

The Slap Wrap brand isn’t included in the investigation, she said.

The state could recall the toy if it is found to violate the state’s Child Protection Act, which bars non-functional sharp edges on toys sold to children 8 years old and youngerr, Jordan said.

Elementary school officials in Pelham, N.Y., banned the wraps last week because of concerns about children cutting themselves.

Main Street Toy maintains its bracelets, made with stainless steel, are safe, but says imitations are made from cheaper steel that will rust and break.

″We presented our item to Walgreens in July or August, but they turned us down because the other item was cheaper,″ said Deb Baker, marketing vice president for Main Street Toy.

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