New Report Shows Only 10% of Recalled Children’s Products are Returned or Repaired

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babyA new report, released by safety advocacy group Kids in Danger (KID), states that child product safety recalls have a dismal record of 10 percent.

According to a USA Today report, it typically takes 13 reports of design flaws and at least two injuries to recall defective products.

Most parents do not hear or learn about product recalls until years after they occur or until their own children get injured. More

Toys Recalled Due to Potential Choking Hazards

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Cleveland-based Dunecraft Inc. is issuing a defective product recall for a series of marble-sized toys including Water Balz, Skulls, Orbs and Flower toys, that expand when place in water. The recall involves about 95,100 Dunecraft products sold in U.S. and Canada at retailers such as Bed, Bath & Beyond. According to a Consumer Reports article, the toys can be swallowed and cause a life-threatening condition. Officials also say that the ingested toys are not visible on hospital x-rays and must be surgically removed from the boy. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) issued a statement that an 8-month-old Texas girl ingested a Water Balz toy and needed surgery to get it removed in August 2011.

Injuries and Fatalities Relating to Toys

According to a CPSC report, in 2010, the agency received reports of 17 deaths and 251,000 injuries that were linked to toys. The report states that balloons and small balls were associated with 47 percent of the reported deaths in 2010. A majority of the deaths (11) were from choking while drowning caused four deaths.

Taking the Necessary Precautions

These are defective toys that should not be in the market in the first place. However, during this holiday season, store shelves are flooded with dangerous and defective children’s products that can put our little ones in harm’s way. The best way to protect our children is to be aware of the hazardous products out there so we do not bring them into our homes in the first place. Safety experts warn that when it comes to choosing toys, safety comes first. They say if it fits through a toilet paper tube, it’s a choking hazard and a young child should not have access to it.

Product Liability Issues

If a dangerous or defective toy has injured you or a loved one, it is important to understand that you have legal rights. Injured victims can seek compensation for damages by filing a product liability claim against the toy manufacturer. In such cases, victims can seek compensation for damages including medical expenses, hospitalization, treatment costs, pain and suffering, and emotional distress. In the case of a fatal injury, family members may file a wrongful death lawsuit seeking damages. Victims or their families would also be well advised to contact an experienced personal injury lawyer who will be able to advise them about their legal rights and options.

Britax Child Safety Seats Recalled for Potential Choking Danger

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Car seat manufacturer Britax has issued a defective product recall for children’s safety seats and boosters due to a potential choking hazard. According to a news report in The Wall Street Journal, the chest pads in these safety seats are made of a softer material that could come apart if the child bites or chews on it. If that happens the pieces could become a choking hazard. The recall involved 55,455 restraints.

Once the recall begins, Britax will provide replacement pads made of firmer material, with instructions on how to install them. Those who own these seats are asked to remove the current pads and continue to use the seat until the replacements arrive. Anyone with questions is encouraged to call Britax at 1-888-427-4829.

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Summer Infant Bath Seats Recalled for Fall Hazards

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The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and Health Canada have issued defective product recalls for more than 2 million Summer Infant baby bath seats because they pose a serious risk of head injury to young children. According to Consumer Reports, the company’s Mother’s Touch and Deluxe Baby Bathers can suddenly collapse when parents lift them causing the baby to fall out of the bather. So far, CPSC and Summer Infant have received seven reports of incidents in the United States including five incidents where the babies suffered head injuries after a fall from the bather.

Four children between two weeks and two months old suffered skull fractures, including one infant who required intensive care for bleeding in the brain. A fifth child suffered a head injury that required emergency room treatment. Anyone who owns these recalled baby bathers are asked to stop using them right away and call Summer Infant for a free repair kit that includes a lock strap and installation instructions. Consumer Reports recommends that parents use infant bathtubs and that they always keep one hand on the child at all times.

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Bumbo Baby Seats Recalled for Serious Fall Hazards

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Bumbo International Trust has issued a defective product recall for four million of its popular baby seats after receiving at least 50 reports of infants falling, including 19 reports of skull fractures. According to a CBS news report, since this recall, there have been an additional 34 reports of infants who suffered falls from an unknown elevation. Two of those reported cases resulted in skull fractures as well.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is urging those who own these seats to stop using them immediately and order a free repair kit that includes a restraint belt. These defective baby seats were sold at retailers including Sears, Target, Toys R Us, Babies R Us, USA Babies, Wal-Mart and other children’s stores. They were sold between August 2003 and August 2012 for between $30 and $50.

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Federal Government Approves New Safety Standards for Play Yards

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The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has approved new safety standards that will protect children as they play in portable play yards. According to Consumer Reports, these potentially dangerous and defective products, which are commonly referred to as pack-and-plays, were involved in more than 2,100 incidents. The play yards were reported to the agency between November 2007 and December 2011 accounting for 60 deaths and 170 injuries. The new regulations relating to play yard safety will become effective six months after the final rule is published in the Federal Register.

New Federal Safety Rule

The mandatory federal requirements for play yards include a stability test to prevent the play yard from tipping over; latch and lock mechanisms to keep the play yard from folding on a child when it is in use; entrapment tests for attachments so a child’s head does not get trapped; and floor strength tests to ensure structural integrity and to prevent children from getting trapped by the play yard floor.

The new rule will also mandate play yard manufacturers to follow minimum side height requirements to prevent children from climbing out of the play yard on their own. In addition, manufacturers must test the play yards to prevent the top rails from folding downward and cause a neck entrapment. However, manufacturers were able to do away with a provision that would have addressed misassembly, known to be a common cause of play yard deaths.

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Kolcraft Strollers Recalled for Potential Injury Hazards

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Kolcraft has issued a defective product recall for 36,000 of its Contours Options three- and four-wheeled strollers because it could pose laceration or fingertip amputation hazards. According to Consumer Reports, a child’s or adult’s finger can get caught in the opening formed when locking and unlocking the hinge mechanism that adjusts the handlebars, presenting an amputation and laceration hazard. So far, Kolcraft and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) have received five reports of injuries involving the hinge mechanism, including three incidents where children’s fingertips were amputated. In two cases, adults’ fingers were lacerated or smashed.

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Children’s High Chairs Recalled for Fall Hazards

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The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has issued a defective product recall for Evenflo’s convertible high chair after eight children fell off the chairs and suffered injuries. According to a CNN news report, the tray on the high chairs can detach allowing children to fall. There have already been 18 incidents of the tray detaching. While no serious injuries have been reported yet, some of the children suffered bumps and bruises.

Approximately 35,000 of these potentially dangerous child products were sold at Toys R Us and Wal-Mart stores nationwide since December of 2011. The defective high chairs were manufactured in China and have the model numbers 29111259, 29111271 or 29111234 on them. Officials are urging anyone who owns one of these high chairs to stop using it right away and contact Evenflo for a replacement tray.

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Toys R Us Recalls Activity Centers for Choking Hazards

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Toys R Us Inc. has issued a defective product recall for about 24,000 Imaginarium 5-Sided Activity Centers because of potential choking hazards. According to a news report in ConsumerAffairs.com, the small wooden knobs attaching the xylophone keys to the end can detach causing a choking hazard to young children. So far, Toys R Us has received eight reports of the knobs detaching. No injuries have been reported to the company.

The recalled products, which were manufactured in China, were sold nationwide and online at www.toysrus.com from August 2009 through September 2010 for about $25. Anyone who has these products at home is urged to stop using them right away and return them to a Toys R Us store for a refund or store credit. For more information, please contact the company at 1-800-869-7787.

Toy-Related Injuries and Fatalities

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), there were 17 reports of toy-related deaths that occurred in 2010 among children under 15 years of age. Balloons and small balls were associated with 47 percent of the reported deaths in 2010. Choking was the cause of the majority of deaths and four children died as a result of drowning. In 2010, 11 of the 17 deaths (65 percent) involved choking on small toys or toy parts. Also, during the same year, there were about 251,700 toy-related injuries treated in hospital emergency departments. The 2010 estimate was slightly higher than the 250,100 injuries in 2009.

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CDC Lowers Limit for Child Lead Poisoning

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The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that it has reduced the limit for child lead poisoning from 10 micrograms per deciliter of blood to five. According to Consumer Reports, there is no amount of lead level that is safe in children. This move encourages everyone from product manufacturers to consumers and parents to work on eliminating all lead from the environment.

CDC statistics show that about 250,000 children in the United States between the ages of 1 and 5 have blood lead levels greater than 10 micrograms per deciliter of blood. About 450,000 children in that age group have lead levels greater than 5 micrograms per deciliter of blood. Under the earlier rule 10 micrograms was the level at which the CDC recommended that public health actions be initiated. Now that level has been brought down to 5 micrograms. This change also alters the definition of what is considered lead poisoning in children.

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