Recall FAQ: Everything you need to know about children’s product recalls
a guest post by Carson Gaffney, a Program Associate at Kids In Danger (KID), a nonprofit dedicated to keeping children safe by improving children’s product safety.
Product recalls are one public safety tool used to get and keep dangerous products out of consumers’ homes. But what exactly is a product recall? Who decides when a product is recalled? What can you do if you have a recalled product? Read on to learn more about navigating the world of hazardous products.
How does a product get recalled? Recalls are issued after a manufacturer self-reports an issue with a product, or after the CPSC begins an independent investigation. Sometimes an investigation begins after consumer complaints and reports of injuries, but other times no incidents or injuries are reported. If you ever experience an issue with a product, you can report that to SaferProducts.gov, a consumer database that informs the recall process. Unfortunately, some products are not recalled until after many incidents, injuries, or even deaths, have been reported. For example, there were 140 reported incidents and 39 reported injuries for the Little Tikes™ 2-in-1 Snug ‘n Secure Pink toddler swings (pictured) before it was recalled.
How often are products recalled? Products are recalled at a much higher rate than you might realize. The CPSC recalls children’s products between 1 to 2 times per week. However, just 10% of recalled children’s products are ever returned or repaired. This means that most recalled products are still in circulation – in our homes, child care facilities, or for sale online or secondhand.
What can you do to make sure the products in your home or childcare facility are safe? All children’s product recalls are posted online at www.CPSC.gov -- search their database to find out if any of your products have been recalled. You can also register durable products such as cribs, strollers, and high chairs with the manufacturer. This is the only way manufacturers of are required to notify consumers if their products have been recalled. You can register your product online or by filling out the product registration card that came with the product. You can also sign up for KID’s email alerts to receive a list of all of the children’s products that have been recalled in the past month.
What can you do if you have a defective product? Stop using the product immediately. If the product hasn’t been recalled, report it to saferproducts.gov, the government’s product safety database. Reporting an incident could prevent another child from being injured by the product. If the product has been recalled, follow the instructions in the recall notice to get your repair or refund.
How long do you have to return a recalled product? You can return your defective product for a refund, repair, or replacement at any time. There is no deadline for consumers to take action after a recall