ReCall Me Maybe: Children`s Product Recalls

Children’s Product Recalls
Legislative Advocacy Talk
Kristen Schratz,
Becky Tamez & Andrew Wehrman
"We did not realize that her portable crib
was recalled until the coroner told us.“
–Riley’s Mom
Toy-Related Deaths Among
Children < 15yo, 2010-2012
Infant Injuries
• In 2012, estimated 77,900 ED-treated injuries
associated with nursery products among children < 5yo
– 67% with cribs/mattresses, high chairs, infant carriers/car
seat carriers, and strollers/carriages
– Falls were the leading cause of injury, and the head,
followed by the face, were the body parts injured most
– Internal organ injuries, contusions/abrasions, and
lacerations accounted for 73 percent of the injuries.
• Annual estimates of injuries associated with nursery
products do not display a statistically significant trend
over the five-year period 2008–2012
Infant Fatalities
• 333 deaths from 2008–2010 associated with
nursery products among children < 5yo
– 89% associated with cribs, bassinets, playpens, infant
carriers/car seat carriers and baby baths/bath seats
– Causes of death included positional asphyxia,
strangulation & drowning, among others
– In some instances, the fatalities were attributed to the
product; while in other cases, the fatalities resulted
from a hazardous environment in or around the
What is a Recall?
• When the government & the manufacturer
remove a product from the market because it
is dangerous and can hurt or kill a child
• However, even if the product is removed from
store shelves very few steps are taken to
remove the product from homes, childcare
centers, secondhand stores and garage sales
• Millions of recalled products are still in use
USA Today 2/21/14 “Only 10% of recalled kids products fixed or returned.” by Alicia McElhaney
Children’s Product Recalls
• Typically more than 100 recalls on children's
products alone each year
• 113 children’s products recalled in 2013
• A 2014 report showed only 10% response rate
for child product safety recalls
• It typically takes 13 reports of design flaws
and two injuries to recall products
Child-resistant packaging
• 1960s: Unintentional poisonings by both medicines and
common household products were considered by most
pediatricians to be the leading cause of injury to children <
5 yo
• About 500 deaths/year reported for children <5 yo due to
accessibility of these chemicals
• Poison Prevention Packaging Act of 1970
– Signed by Richard Nixon
– Aimed to reduce the risk of poisoning in children via ingestion
– Required the use of Child-resistant packaging for prescription
meds, OTC drugs, household chemicals & other hazardous
"The History of Poison Prevention". Arizona State Board of Pharmacy. Retrieved April 24, 2013
How a Toy becomes Recalled
• U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) was
created in 1972 to oversee consumer products
• Consumer Product Safety Improvement act in 2008
expanded scope and funding
– Created in response to lead toy recalls in 2007
– Created public database for all recalls
– Redefined “children’s” products to all products intended
for use with children younger than 12 (previously younger
than 7)
• Companies must report products if there is a
defect found
• Defects can be the result of manufacturing
error, design of product, or materials
• If a defect is there, the firm determines if is
any potential harm from the defect
– Firms must report whether or not they can
determine if there is harm
• Either a company, retailer, or consumer can
• Reportable products include those which:
– Fail to comply with safety rule already established
– Contains a defect that poses safety risk
– Creates unreasonable risk of serious injury or death
– Database established in 2008
– Documents all complaints and recalls for a variety of
• Companies are required to report immediately
– If risk is unknown can perform investigation for no
more than 10 days
• Reports are confidential
CPSC Evaluation
• CPSC evaluates all claims sent to them
• Determines if a defect is present and then assigns a hazard
– Class A: Exists when a risk of death or grievous injury or illness is
likely or very likely, or serious injury or illness is very likely
– Class B: Exists when a risk of death or grievous injury or illness is
not likely to occur, but is possible, or when serious injury or
illness is likely, or moderate injury or illness is very likely.
– Class C: Exists when a risk of serious injury or illness is not likely,
but is possible, or when moderate injury or illness is not
necessarily likely, but is possible.
• Hazard rating helps determine how quickly and aggressively
the recall is done
Fast Track
• Companies can apply for a fast track
• Coordinate with CPSC to implement a recall
plan within 20 days of filing a report
• CPSC does not evaluate defect or hazard risk
initially, thereby allowing the recall to take
place sooner
Press release
News segment
Social media
Toll free number
Email address
Warning Labels
"CAUTION: Do not ingest or inhale magnets.
Attraction of magnets in the body may cause
serious injury and require immediate medical
• Monthly reports discussing amount of product
remedies, injuries, number of people reached
• End of recall determined by CPSC
Famous Product Recalls
Pack & Plays
• Recall of numerous models for potential
entrapment or suffocation caused by faulty
side rail latches. For complete list can see CPSC
Lead paint in Toys
• In 2006, a 4-year-old Minneapolis boy died after swallowing a toy made
by Reebok, which contained more than 90% lead.
• Since then, the Consumer Product Safety Commisson (CPSC) has
overseen nearly 4 million voluntary recalls due to excessive lead in toys.
– The overwhelming majority of those toys were made in China, which
manufactures 80% of the toys sold in this country.
• The Ecology Center has compiled a database of more than 1,200 toys it
tested for lead and other dangerous chemicals at
• Jewelry, also frequently made in China, has been the target of
recalls. Since 2004, manufacturers have recalled more than 45 jewelry
products due to excessive lead.
Buckyballs® & Buckycubes™
• While a great work companion & refrigerator
artwork, when ingested they are deadly
• > 1,000 children have swallowed various brands
of small magnets and required surgery
• Banned from commercial sale in 2010
• CPSC is currently pursuing a stop-sale order
against Maxfield & Oberton, since the Bucky
products are still being sold
• Also suing the owner, Craig Zucker after he
dissolved the company
Recent State Legislation
• In 2007, NJ enacted legislation prohibiting the sale of unsafe or recalled
children's products
– Also requires the state provide a list of unsafe products on its Web site
– Helps consumers and child care centers to identify and remove such products
• NY considered similar legislation in 2012, but those bills failed to pass
• A bill that would prohibit the sale of toys, jewelry, or novelties that contain
lead was passed in 2008 by NY house & senate but vetoed by Gov Spitzer
– Argued that the state has limited ability to enforce such a law
– Also that the law may give the public a false sense of security about the safety
of such products
• Seven other states (AR, IL, LA, MI, MO, RI, VT) have also passed children's
product safety legislation in years past
• AZ, CA, CO, OR, PA and WA have enacted legislation specifically addressing
unsafe cribs
Last Weeks’s Recalls
Graco Child Seat harness buckle – 2/12/14
Go Gaga Teething toys – 2/20/14
BebeLove walkers – 2/6/14
Nap Nanny infant recliner
Baby monitor power cords
Children’s wall-mounted lamps
Hip hammock
Baby rattles
Where can you find information?
AAP News - Health Alerts
Is there an app for that?
Advocacy Groups
• Kids in Danger
• Juvenile Product Manufacturers Association
Kids In Danger
• Nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting
children by improving children’s product safety
• Founded in 1998 by the parents of sixteenmonth-old Danny Keysar who died when a
portable crib collapsed around his neck
• Involved in legislation & litigation
• Educates parents on 3 Steps to Safety
1. Learn About Recalls
2. Search Your Home
3. Stay Alert
Juvenile Product Manufacturers
• Founded in 1959 in regards to a federal
automotive tax imposed on car seat
manufacturers Now a national trade organization
• Represents 250 companies in US, Canada &
• 95% of the prenatal to preschool industry
• Dedicated to enhancing children’s product safety
– Safe & Sound For Baby
– Baby Safety Month
For those of you with kids,
Search Your Homes!
CPSC website
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website
Consumer product releases
iTunes store

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