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article imageMcDonald's wearable toy in rash warning

By Tim Sandle     Aug 18, 2016 in Technology
Fast food burger chain McDonald's has withdrawn a give-away wearable device aimed at children after complaints that the device was causing rashes.
In an apparent bid to convince consumers that its menu fare goes someway towards a healthy diet and lifestyle, burger giant McDonald's launched a wearable fitness device aimed at children. The device is called Step-It and it is a type of activity tracker, worn on the wrist. The device was given to those who purchased the chain's "Happy Meals."
The device has now been withdrawn over claims that some children who wore it developed rashes and other types of skin irritation. McDonald's have supplemented the wearable device for a different type of toy. Or, as Gizmodo puts it: "Now, the golden arches will go back to shilling greasy food to children with the help of cartoon characters and other big franchises."
The Step-It devices had been available in the U.S. and Canada. The devices were manufactured in China.
The technology was fairly rudimentary compared with more sophisticated fitness trackers, although it was included as part of a relatively low cost meal. The device indicated activity levels through variations in blinking lights. The marketing was orientated to coincide with the Rio Olympics and the promotion timescale ran across the school holidays.
Speaking with BBC News, a representative of McDonald's Terri Hickey told consumers the company had taken the "swift" step of removing the devices "after receiving limited reports of potential skin irritations that may be associated from wearing the band".
Hickey added further: "Nothing is more important to us than the safety of our customers and we are fully investigating this issue. Our restaurants are now offering our youngest guests an alternative Happy Meal toy."
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