Fewer Recalls, More Dangers for Kids’ Products in 2011

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When parents choose toys, clothing and furniture for their children, safety is a key concern. Most make an intentional effort to avoid defective products and devices. Unfortunately, it’s not always clear which products might pose risks to children’s safety.

Thankfully, there are a number of government agencies and safety groups dedicated to protecting consumers from dangerous and defective products. One, called Kids in Danger, recently released a report showing that 2011 had mixed results when it came to protecting kids from dangerous products.

The report found that while the number of recalled children’s products dropped by nearly 25 percent, the number of injuries from those products went up.

Because of confidentiality mechanisms in the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s recall process, Kids in Danger couldn’t point to the exact reason for the drop in recalls. It said it was unsure whether the drop meant that fewer dangerous products were being sold or simply that manufactures have been more reluctant to recall potentially dangerous products.

The report did find that recalls for lead violations and dangerous cribs were down, largely because of new regulations regarding standards and testing.

Worst Products: Sneakers, Beds, Electronics

All told, the CPSC recalled 121 children’s products in 2011. Most were either nursery products or toys.

The product that caused the most injuries before being recalled was a set of girls’ Keds shoes decorated with stars. The shoes caused 27 reported incidents of lacerations.

Three children died in recalled-product fatal accidents in 2011. Two were killed after being strangled by a nursery monitor and one died after becoming entrapped in a bunk bed.

Children deserve to be safe from dangerous products. Parents can check the CPSC’s website to see which products have been recalled. The agency also provides safety warnings about potentially-dangerous products that have not yet been recalled.

Source: Deseret News, “Injuries Up, Recalls Down for Kids’ Products,” Lois M. Collins, April 2, 2012.