We recently discussed the recall of millions of Graco child car seats. Now comes disturbing news that very few recalls of child products are heeded by parents. According to advocacy group Kids in Danger, just 10 percent of recalled children's products are returned or repaired. Much of this, sadly, is caused by lack of awareness. The group's executive director says that parents are typically aware of only a handful of recalls despite the fact that they usually number over 100 a year.
Despite the fact that government agencies like the Consumer Product Safety Commission and other organizations get the word to the media about recalls, the executive director of KID believes failure to adequately publicize recall information is a key reason for this lack of response.
The founder of KID came to her advocacy in the most tragic way possible. Her infant was strangled to death when her crib collapsed -- a crib that had been recalled five years prior to her daughter's death. She had been unaware of the recall.
One would think that parents would be alert to any recall news involving their children's products. However, a CPSC spokesman says that "consumers need to hear about recalls multiple times before they take action." While companies are required to put recall information on their websites, they are not required to use other social media platforms. Sixty-three companies with recalled children's products in 2013 had Facebook and Twitter accounts, according to KID. Yet, only nine posted their recall notice on Facebook, and just eight communicated it via Twitter.
KID does not place the blame solely on consumer lack of awareness. It calls out manufacturers and regulatory agencies for delaying recalls, sometimes until after multiple children have died. Last year, the Nap Nanny infant recliner was recalled only after five fatalities and close to 100 reported cases of babies being hung by the product or falling out of it.
It is essential for Florida parents to be aware of all children's defective product recalls. Monitor safety sites. Many recalls result from reports and claims by consumers. Personal injury attorneys can advise parents on how best to proceed if their child is harmed by a product to help ensure that they are listened to and that action is taken to help prevent harm to other children.
Source: USA Today, "Only 10% of recalled kids products fixed or returned" Alicia McElhaney, Feb. 21, 2014