Keep Tabs on Children’s Product Recalls

children's health strollerMaria L. recently searched a swap meet for the perfect stroller for her baby, due in a couple of weeks. When she settled on one to purchase, Maria had no idea that the item was on a Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) list of recalled products  known to cause injury and deaths. Recently, to help Maria save money, her family and friends also gave her used baby items that they had purchased for their own children. This is a common way recalled products are recycled through a network of people who are trying to help, but often don’t realize that toys, sports equipment and furniture are frequently recalled items.

To keep children and babies from the increased danger of recalled items, Safe Kids California (SKC) produces videos that showcase important safety messages about recalled items. While many items are safe, it is important that parents check the CPSC list when accepting new or used items.

The first, called “Wheels,” highlights strollers and outdoor sports equipment, which are among the most frequently recalled products that enter the market through swap meets, garage sales, second-hand stores and between friends and family. The second, “Baby’s Day,” uses a clever crib mobile of products to help parents understand that products for infants and toddlers are recalled more frequently than other products.

“When we discovered that almost 30 percent of recalls in 2012 were children’s products, and that there were 230,000 emergency visits to the ER involving injuries from nursery items and toys, we knew that we had to take action,” says Iana Simeonov, project director from the Public Health Institute, which helps fund the program. “Our goal was to demystify the process of children’s product recalls for consumers while making the information more accessible to English- and Spanish-speaking parents.”

A new mobile-optimized Safe Kids California website and a Twitter stream of recalls that notifies users of important recalls in real time directly from the CPSC are also part of the program.

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