KID released a new report titled Checkup on SaferProducts.gov, analyzing incident reports related to children’s products submitted to SaferProducts.gov, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)’s public database where consumers can submit and view incidents related to unsafe products.
KID’s report examines the effectiveness of SaferProducts.gov by focusing on incident reports featuring children’s products and involving children 18 years or under. Our report found that from 2012 to 2019 (first and last full years the database has been in use), reports to the database have dropped 55%, indicating how increasingly fewer consumers are using SaferProducts.gov.
Additional findings of the study include:
- Eighty-two reports of death, 161 reports of hospital admission, and 471 reports of treatment received from an emergency department in the sample surveyed.
- Reports of incidents affecting infants and toddlers (0-2 years) made up almost half of all reports (49%). The number of reports decreased dramatically as the age of the victim increased.
- Manufacturers, who are given an opportunity to respond to incident reports through SaferProducts.gov, provided responses to only 41% of the reports and commented most frequently to reports featuring children under three years old.
- Most reports featured products that were juvenile products (43%), toys (21%), or furniture (13%). Sleep products (cribs, bassinets, etc.) were the most reported products (33%) in the juvenile products category.
- Although the study’s sample consisted of 3,058 juvenile products (nursery products) and 1,507 toys, the CPSC estimates that there were 60,600 injuries pertaining to nursery products and 224,200 injuries pertaining to toy products in 2019. The reports on SaferProducts.gov represent only a fraction of all injuries nationwide.
- The median time taken to publish a report onto SaferProducts.gov was 30 days and the median time taken to send a report to the manufacturer was 10 days. However, some outliers took over a year to be sent to the manufacturer and/or published.
KID recommends the CPSC:
- Develop and implement a plan to increase awareness and use of the database by the public, as well as healthcare professionals and other permitted reporters, through outreach and training.
- Market the site more widely both to generate reports and allow consumers to research products.
- Release an annual report evaluating the trends in harm posed by products in the database. Reports on specific injury patterns or products generated from the data would be an excellent way for the CPSC to highlight the database and provide useful information to consumers to keep children safe.
- Update recall information on all posts.
- Improve the time it takes to get all reports posted on the site.
- Consider ways to get recall information from other sources in the correct format and with the information needed to include it in the SaferProducts.gov database.
- Should review ways to get more reports included in the database. More than 50% of reports are not posted in the database.
Parents should check SaferProducts.gov for recalls and injury reports, and report problems with children’s products to the database and to the manufacturer. Sign up for KID’s monthly safety updates at KidsInDanger.org.