On February 12, Kids In Danger released with U.S. Representative Jan Schakowsky, 2007: The Year of the Recall, an annual study of recalled children’s products. In addition to Schakowsky, KID was joined by Cara Smith of the Illinois Attorney General’s office and Brian Imus of Illinois PIRG.

The report found that children’s product recalls by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) jumped in 2007. There were 231 recalls accounting for more than 46 million items, including twelve recalls that involved one million or more units.

“These products together caused at least 657 injuries and 6 deaths,” stated Nancy Cowles, executive director of 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.”

KID recommends:

  • Congress must act quickly to enact pending legislation that would increase funding for CPSC and strengthen their ability to protect children.

  • States should enact legislation to ban the sale of recalled products or their use in childcare facilities. Only eight states, including Illinois, now have a Children’s Product Safety Act.
  • Lead should be banned in any children’s products. Manufacturers must certify that their products and product components are lead-free. KID supports the American Academy of Pediatrics call for lead levels of no more than 40 parts per million, as compared to the currently allowable rate of 600 parts per million.

    “The report released by Kids in Danger today underscores the need to overhaul our nation’s consumer protection system,” said U.S. Representative Jan Schakowsky (D-IL). “Under the current system, too many dangerous products are slipping through the cracks and making their way into our homes. Fortunately, the 110th Congress has made a serious commitment to eliminate dangerous products, modernize product safety standards and improve the effectiveness of recalls. The CPSC reauthorization bill, which recently passed the House, would save lives by getting dangerous products off store shelves and out of our homes. I urge my colleagues in the U.S. Senate to pass the strongest CPSC reauthorization bill possible.”

    “In Illinois, by partnering with advocacy groups like Kids in Danger, we have taken the protection of children into our own hands and are working to inform caregivers of these dangers, said Attorney General Madigan. “The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and product manufacturers must take greater steps to ensure that consumers who have these dangerous products in their homes become aware of recall and know how to respond and that retailers have sufficient information to inform their customers.”

    KID recommends that parents check the products used with their children at www.cpsc.gov and sign up for safety updates at www.KidsinDanger.org.

    “The release of today’s report highlights that the agency we rely on to protect our children from unsafe products is failing to do its job,” said Brian Imus, State Director with the consumer advocacy group Illinois PIRG. “We need to stop hazardous toys from ending up on store shelves, rather than rely on woefully ineffective, after-the-fact recalls to remove them from our homes.”