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Report on Children's Product Recalls Offers Good and Bad News

Advocacy group Kids In Danger (KID) recently released its annual report on children’s product recalls. It offers both good news and bad news for San Diego parents.

On a positive note, incidents and injuries due to recalled children’s products decreased in 2013, down 38 percent and 16 percent, respectively. Overall, 21 percent of children‘s product recalls involved personal injuries prior to recall, for a total of 196 injuries.

The report also found that mandatory standards are working to decrease product recalls. For example, only two cribs were recalled in 2013, two years after the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) implemented strict new standards. By comparison, more than 20 dangerous cribs were recalled in 2010.

Unfortunately, the bad news largely overshadows the good. Below are a few alarming facts detailed in the KID Recall Report:

  • Children’s product recalls are rising: While the CPSC reported a 15 percent decrease in overall recalls from 2012 to 2013, there was an 18 percent increase in children‘s product recalls.
  • Children’s products are more deadly: In 2013, the number of fatalities reported due to defective children’s products increased 22 percent.
  • Recalls come too late: On average, it takes 14 reports of serious design defects and/or product failures and two injuries to initiate a product recall.
  • Recalls are often ineffective: Only 10 percent of 2012 recalled children‘s products were successfully corrected, replaced, or returned. As a result, 584 incidents and 39 injuries occurred after the recalls were announced.

In light of its findings, KID recommends that the CPSC and manufacturers do more to make recalls effective. Among its suggestions, the group calls on both to increase their use of social media to spread the word about dangerous children’s products and reach more consumers.