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Report Shows Fewer Children's Products Recalled, but More Recalls Are Ignored

A new report from the consumer advocacy group Kids In Danger reveals that fewer children's products were recalled in 2011 than the previous year, but parents aren't necessarily heeding the recall warnings.  Specifically, the report shows that recalls of children's products decreased 24 percent from 2010, but the number of injuries associated with recalled products increased seven percent.

Other noteworthy findings from the report include the following:


  • Nursery products were the most-recalled category, accounting for 30% of children's recalls, followed closely by toys at 26%.

  • The most injurious product prior to recall during 2011 was girl's Keds shoes with decorative stars that caused 27 reports of lacerations.

  • There were three deaths in 2011 prior to recall in children's products, with two strangulations involving a nursery monitor and one entrapment in a bunk bed.

  • The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) imposed a total of $3.9 million in fines for companies who violated safety regulations, mostly for failing to report choking, poisoning and drawstrings in clothing and one for selling a banned substance.

  • Seventy percent of recalling companies offered a full refund, replacement product or merchandise credit, 27 percent of recalling companies offered a repair kit or replacement parts and three percent offered only new labels or nothing at all.

  • Eleven of the recalled products were reported to SaferProducts.gov prior to recall and 13 of the recalled products had reports after the recall was announced.


According to this article, Nancy Cowles, the advocacy group's executive director, points to higher safety standards and new third party safety confirmations as part of the reason for the reduction in recalls.   "New requirements to avoid lead in children's products and for safer cribs went into effect about the same time," Cowles said, which she suspects may be part of the reason that the number of recalls has decreased.

Unfortunately, consumers do not seem to be observing the recommendations of the CPSC. According to the report by Kids In Danger, the number of injuries associated with recalls of children's products in 2011 increased seven percent from 2010.  Moreover, only 15 percent of recalled children's products are returned for repair, according to the CPSC.

Parents and other consumers are advised to register new products with the manufacturer so that they can get direct notification in the event that a product is recalled or there are other safety problems with the product.  Parents and other consumers can also check their products for safety at www.SaferProducts.gov.

Steinberg Goodman & Kalish  (www.sgklawyers.com) is dedicated to protecting victims and their families.  We handle medical malpractice, product liability, personal injury, wrongful death, auto accidents, professional negligence, birth trauma, and railroad law matters. Contact us at (800) 784-0150 or (312) 782-1386.

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