For many, the idea of a child being injured due to a defective or dangerous product is obviously devastating. But sadly, the truth is that there are a number of products - including children's toys, bedding and car seats - that are recalled every year due to safety issues. However, what is truly frightening is that many parents may never even hear of the recall and then continue to use the dangerous product.
About 40% of recalls last year, or 121 of 310 overall, involved children's products, according to a recent study titled "Kids In Danger." The same study notes two recalls of bunk beds and infant video monitors involved deaths. The Consumer Product Safety Commission's (CPSC) complaint database includes many reports of children injured or killed by recalled products, says Kids In Danger's Nancy Cowles.
According to the recently released Kids in Danger report, there was actually a decline in the number of recalls in 2011. However, even though there was a 24 percent decrease, injuries and other negative incidents actually rose 7 percent last year.
It turns out that part of the problem is most likely due to the fact that when a recall is announced, only between 15 percent and 30 percent of the products are actually sent back or fixed. Of course, there are some rather larger higher-profile recalls that make the news and end up having a larger send back rate, but many smaller recalls do not end up getting as much attention.
Additionally, it seems part of the problem is that when there is a recall, stores have a hard time always tracking down the purchaser to let them known about. Disturbingly the average recall response rate for child safety seats is only about 41%, while about 75% of owners of cars and light trucks take their cars back for recalls, says data and analysis firm Lindsey Research Services. Car recalls are bolstered by mandatory registration while retail recalls suffer from not being able to locate shoppers. The ability to find someone depends on whether they paid with a card or whether they have a customer loyalty account. Online retailers often have the easiest time contacting consumers.
Members of loyalty programs at Toys R Us and Babies R Us get e-mail alerts about product recalls; others can sign up on the stores' websites to get notices. Amazon and Costco notify customers when products they buy online are recalled. Those not members of such programs can take action and sign up for recall notices on CPSC's and NHTSAs websites.
If you or someone you know has been injured because of a company's failure to provide a safe and healthy consumer product, you need the help of a St. Louis products liability attorney experienced and ready to help protect your rights and recover damages for your injury. Contact products liability attorney Ben Sansone today for a free initial consultation at (314) 863-0500.
Source: "Recalls of unsafe kids products down but often ignored," by Jayne O'Donnell, published at USAToday.com.