Total recalls

When you hear that a child’s toy or product is recalled what do you do? Do you check to see if you own it?  Do you ignore the recall?  How do you react?

Children’s products can be recalled for a number of reasons.  Recently, the large Graco car seat recall recommends that parents call the company for a replacement part.  Other products recalls recommend pulling the product completely stopping the use of a product.

Last week, Kids in Danger (KID), an organization devoted to children’s safety and recall awareness, released a report indicating that only 10% of recalled kid’s products fixed or returned. According to KID, “Children’s product companies and regulators wait too long to recall products and the practice has contributed to infant and children’s deaths, the report says. It typically takes 13 reports of design flaws and two injuries to recall products.”

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, “A recall can mean a refund, a repair or a replacement. Companies can choose among the three.” Typically, the CPSC and the company release a joint press release – but other than that it’s up to the company to get the word out about the recall.

Social media can make it easier to reach owners of the product, however according to the report, there were 63 recalls in 2013 involving companies that used a Facebook or Twitter page within six months before the recall. Of these, the manufacturer only mentioned the product recall on Facebook in nine of those cases and on Twitter in eight.

It’s important to keep vigilant about recalls.  Here are a few things you can do to stay aware:

  • Complete and mail in your product registration cards that come with children’s products.
  • Subscribe to the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s website for recall alerts to be sent right to your email.
  • Share recalls on social media – you never know who might have the product and sharing can protect a child!
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