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Group Declares 2009 The Year of the Nursery Product Recall

Mar 31, 2010 | Parker Waichman LLP

Advocacy group, Kids In Danger, just announced that 2009 saw the most nursery product recalls in history and just issued the annual study—The Year of the Nursery Product Recall—on the problem. The report was released in collaboration with U.S. Representative Jan Schakowsky (IL-9) and Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan.

Nursery product recalls made history last year and for the first time, children’s clothing recalls also reached an unexpected high, due in part to strangulation hazards present in clothing with drawstrings.

Recalls in 2009 totaled an unbelievable 21.1 million units, of which, six recalls involved one million units or more. “These products together caused at least 198 injuries and 9 deaths,” stated Nancy Cowles, executive director if Kids In Danger. “And those incidents include only those already reported at the time of the recall.  More needs to be done to protect children from these hazards,” Cowles added.

The report also stated that:

  • Nursery products and clothing surpassed toys with the most recalls, representing 28 and 27 percent of children’s product recalls, respectively; products were recalled mainly due to entrapment, fall, and choking hazards, while clothing was recalled for strangulation hazards with drawstrings and choking hazards from small detachable parts.
  • The largest recall was for four million Aqua-Leisure inflatable baby floats with leg straps that can tear, causing a baby to fall into the water and risk drowning. Stork Craft’s Drop-Side Crib recall due to entrapment and fall hazards involved 2.1 million units.
  • Fifteen manufacturers had multiple product recalls in 2009.  Dorel Juvenile Group and Evenflo Co. Inc. had five separate product recalls each.
  • Two recalls, Wooden Play Sets by Adventure Playsets and Rainforest Play Yards by Simplicity Inc., received over 1,000 incident reports prior to recall.  Evenflo’s Envision High Chairs were responsible for 54 injuries before recall.
  • Twenty sleep environment products were recalled in 2009, totaling over 4.7 million units, nearly 2,000 reported incidents, and 75 injuries and deaths.
  • Seven of the nine deaths occurred in sleep environment products, with five deaths in drop-side cribs and two in baby hammocks.  A ban on the drop-side crib design being considered.
  • The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) imposed fines on 34 companies that violated safety regulations for children’s products, totaling over $30.7 million in fines. Most penalties were due to violations for drawstrings in clothing and excessive lead paint in toys.

KID recommends that CPSC should continue developing the public database required by the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) to provide consumers with more information about potential hazards; Congress should require annual reports on recalls and their effectiveness; and CPSC should require more aggressive outreach by companies following a recall, requiring a replacement product or refund, especially in sleep environment recalls.

“For too long, consumers have been at the mercy of industry driven standards for nursery products and the result are the recalls you see here today,” said Cowles.  “Once again, KID’s recall report shows that too many children are still being harmed by dangerous products,” said Schakowsky. “This Kids In Danger report highlights the need for all of us to continue our work at the state and federal level to protect children from dangerous products,” said Madigan.


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