Are you packing your family up for the beach and thinking, “Why is this stroller so heavy?” If so, you should also ask, “Is this stroller safe?”
Companies have a duty to design and build safe products. When they learn of potential dangers associated with their product, the public expects safety warnings through a recall and corrective action.
One watchdog group says regulators and companies are failing the public by not sharing product recall information early or widely enough to prevent injuries.
In 2022, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) waited an average of 16 incidents before a recall was issued, according to Kids In Danger, which released a special report, “Hidden Hazards: 2022 Children’s Product Recalls,” earlier this year.
Sharing recall information should be easier with social media. But you are missing a lot in your news feed. The CPSC only posted updates on 42 percent of children’s product recalls and injuries on Facebook last year, according to Kids In Danger.
The other part of this story is low product correction rates. According to Kids In Danger, CPSC records show an average of 25 percent corrected products on 2021 recalls. But the agency only provided the watchdog data on 11 of 64 requests.
Protect your family from defective products and injuries. Do a visual check of your children’s products, such as strollers, car seats and sleepers, with each use. Then, make a point to inspect your children’s products a few times each year and also check for product recalls by visiting www.cpsc.gov. Check before you travel, when you are already packing up your belongings.
2022 Saw Highest Number of Children’s Product Recalls Since 2013
From Peloton to baby swings, the CPSC announced 293 product recalls last year, a 33 percent rise over 2021.
This included 100 recalls for children’s products, the most since 2013, according to Kids in Danger. About a third of these recalls fell into the toy category. Many of these products contained small parts and posed a choking hazard.
While the number of children’s products recalls went up last year, there was a decline in the total number of product units involved in these recalls. This came as the CPSC moved away from announcing recalls of infant sleepers in 2021. Last year, the agency announced more recalls of children’s products with excessive lead levels and clothing that failed to meet federal flammability guidelines.
Watch for 2022 Children’s Product Recalls
There were four deaths associated with children’s product recalls in 2022.
- Wall-Mounted Basketball Nets. The CPSC announced the recall of 18,000 Goalsetter mounted basketball goals last October, in the wake of four reports of the product detaching from the walls. The announcement also revealed chilling news: a 14-year-old boy had died when the product fell on him in 2018.
- Dangerous Weighted Blankets. Check if your children are using recalled blankets. There is a good chance they are if you shop at Target. The retailer recalled the Pillowfort Weighted Blankets in December 2022, several months after two young girls became entrapped in a blanket cover and died in North Carolina. These were children’s blankets, with some featuring unicorn and constellation patterns.
- 4Moms MamaRoo Baby Swing. After a 10-month old’s death, the CPSC announced the recall of two million MamaRoo swings and 220,000 RockaRoo swings last August. The announcement reported the restraint straps posed potential entanglement and strangulation hazards.
Products Involved in Injuries
Kids In Danger also highlighted other children’s product recalls associated with high numbers of injuries. These included:
- Huffy Corporation Blue’s Clues Foot to Floor Ride-on Toys – 18 injuries
- Pacific Igniter and Pacific Bubble Pop 20” Kids’ Bicycles – 10 injuries
- Mockingbird Single-to-Double Strollers – 8 injuries
- HD Premier DigitDots Magnetic Balls – 4 injuries
As You Pack: Products to Double Check
Check for Stroller Recalls. After you inspect your stroller yourself, check the CPSC website for stroller recalls.
If your stroller is recalled, stop using it or request the company’s repair kit if that’s an option. Be aware that strollers can have defects causing injury to children riding, but also to parents and others. Last year, the UPPAbaby jogging stroller was recalled. At that time, the public learned a young child – who wasn’t riding in the stroller – had suffered the tragedy of a finger amputation because of defective stroller parts.
Checked for Baby Sleep Product and Lounger Recalls.
The Fisher-Price Rock ‘n Play sleeper recall has changed a great deal for families since April 2019, including family vacation. Families should purchase infant sleepers which follow the new federal safety standard approved in 2021.
But the CPSC has not issued safety rules for infant loungers, according to a recent NBC News report. Parents should be aware that in 2021, The Boppy Company recalled 3.3 million of its popular Boppy newborn loungers because of the risk that a child could roll into a position that obstructs their breathing. The recall came with the grave news that eight children had died while using the loungers. As you pack for vacation, be aware that some of these loungers may still be in circulation. Parents may also encounter other poorly made products which have similar hazards, but haven’t been recalled yet.
The safest approach is to pack your own stroller and baby furniture when you travel. This way you and your child are familiar with the products and know what to expect. While they have the best of intentions, avoid borrowing children’s products from friends and family. Pack what you bring with care, laying it outside of other luggage.
Check Scooters, Bicycles and Other Outdoor Products. Finally before we sign off, make sure to check for bike and scooter recalls before you travel.
Free Legal Consultation – Boston Product Liability Attorneys
Breakstone, White & Gluck has extensive experience representing victims of defective products. When someone is injured by a defective product, there must be a full and prompt investigation to determine what happened and where along the supply chain this occurred. Many injuries result from defective design, manufacturing errors or failure to warn the consumer about a possible harm.
Learn more about our attorneys and their results for clients in product liability cases. For a free legal consultation, contact Breakstone, White & Gluck at 800-379-1244 or 617-723-7676 or use our contact form.