Safety is a top priority when it comes to your kids. You teach them to cross a street safely, to wear a helmet when biking, and to wear a lifejacket while swimming. But what happens when something you actually bought for your child becomes a threat to their safety? It sounds far-fetched, but this actually happens frequently, and it’s called a product recall. Now, you might be thinking, “Are safety recalls necessary?” The answer is yes. A malfunctioning toy or other child product could seriously and even fatally harm your child.
Are Recalls Rare in Children’s Products?
If, like me, you’ve had a negative experience with a child’s product, like a crib or a stroller that wouldn’t latch right, you’re not alone. In fact, there are an average of over 100 baby product recalls every year (last year there were 63). Unfortunately, even when there are injuries or even deaths involved, companies don’t contact us about the products recalled. Instead, they will issue a press release to the general public, and those are easy to miss. Those dangerous items are still dangerous for our kids though.
Consumer Product Safety Commission
When food or drugs are recalled, that falls under the FDA (Food and Drug Administration). When a car or motorcycle is recalled, that falls under the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration). But what about our children’s products? “The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) protects the public from unreasonable risks of serious injury or death from thousands of types of consumer products under its jurisdiction, including products that pose a fire, electrical, chemical, or mechanical hazard or can injure children.” – USA Federal Agencies
How Do You Overcome Product Recalls?
So, how can you get through a product recall? Or better yet, how can you avoid one? Here are a few things to help.
Check the Recall Database Frequently
The best way to stay up to date on baby products recalls is to check the CPSC’s site. They contain the press releases and what actions you should take, as well as any of the hazards. They update often so it’s worth checking frequently. It’s better to know sooner rather than later in case something you are using has safety concerns.
You Bought Something Used
What if you’ve purchased a high chair or fan from a garage sale? It’s probably old enough that you won’t see a new update. The site comes handy with a search feature so you can look for any recalls before entrusting it with your child. They even have results from when the CPSC was first founded in 1972.
You Have Something to Report
The CPSC has a handy form for you to fill out if you have an unsafe product to report. They need basic information, such as what, when, and where, as well as information on the brand. While it is anonymous, they may ask follow up questions and need contact information. This report may protect others. The CPSC doesn’t cover every product however. Check here to see if there is a more specific category or agency for your report.
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