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Fast Food

McDonald’s pulls fitness trackers from Happy Meals citing skin irritation problems

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 (McDonald's Canada)

McDonald’s latest attempt at promoting a healthier image came to an abrupt halt Wednesday.

The company announced it had pulled “"Step It! Activity Band” fitness trackers from Happy Meals after receiving reports of children experiencing "skin irritations" from the toy's wristband.

The bands, which came in six colors and strapped on like a wristwatch, counted steps and blinked according to how quickly or slowly the person wearing the device is moving. The fast food chain rolled them out earlier this week as part of a promotional campaign to get kids moving.

But according to McDonald's spokeswoman Terri Hickey, the company started getting “limited reports of potential skin irritations that may be associated with wearing the band.”

Hickey said the company is investigating the issue, and will be offering alternative Happy Meal toys effective immediately. 

But even before reports emerged of potential skin irritation issues, the fitness bands were rubbing some people the wrong way.

Some condemned the fast food chain for sending a mixed message about meal time while others said the toys could lead to distorted body image issues among young kids. 

The Step It! Activity Bands, which were manufactured in China, were supposed to be available for a limited time in U.S. and Canadian Happy Meals.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.