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Check out this month's recall digest
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 31, 2021

Contact:
Nancy Cowles, KID,
nancy@kidsindanger.org, 312-218-5593
Dev Gowda, KID,
dev@kidsindanger.org, 630-915-6025

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Infant Inclined Sleepers, Unstable Furniture and Lead-Tainted Products Lead Children’s Product Recalls in 2020: New KID Report

(CHICAGO) Today, Kids In Danger (KID) released Tracking Trends: Children’s Product Recalls in 2020 analyzing the children’s products recalled by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Furniture tip-overs have been a serious hazard for years. This year saw a continued increase in recalls of unstable dressers and other furniture. Fourteen of 63 recalled products (22%) were furniture items. Eleven products in the furniture category were recalled due to a tip-over hazard.

Recalls for lead saw a spike in 2020. Nine products were recalled due to high levels of lead, compared to only one lead recall in 2019. Nursery products accounted for the highest number of recalls (16), and six of the nursery product recalls were infant inclined sleep products.

“Unstable furniture, toys and other children’s products with lead, and dangerous sleep products were still on the market in 2020 and had to be recalled,” stated Nancy Cowles, Executive Director of KID. “And from what we see of recall effectiveness efforts by CPSC and the recalling companies, most of them are likely still in homes. We need to set stronger mandatory standards to keep dangerous products off the market and strengthen CPSC to get them out of our homes and child care facilities.”

KID urges policymakers to pass the STURDY Act, which would create mandatory safety standards for furniture tip-overs. The STURDY Act passed the U.S. House in a bipartisan vote in 2019 but stalled in the Senate.

“KID’s latest recall report is a call to action,” said Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky (IL-9). “As indicated by the report, recalls of unstable dressers and other furniture have increased in recent years, and child fatalities involving unstable furniture have continued. Just this month, yet another child was killed by a furniture tip- over. Clearly, the current voluntary standard is inadequate, leaving children at risk. Congress must pass the STURDY Act, which I reintroduced in February, to mandate strong furniture stability standards.”

“I encourage parents, grandparents and caregivers to check Kids In Danger’s list of recalled children’s products to avoid inadvertently purchasing a dangerous product – particularly if they are buying an item secondhand. Families should also use KID’s annual report and resources including the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s website to ensure they do not have recalled products in their homes,” Attorney General Kwame Raoul said. “I would like to thank KID for its over 20 years dedicated to protecting children from hazardous children’s products, and I look forward to our continued work together to keep Illinois children safe.”

“Two years ago, PAT families stood with KID and Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky in Chicago, to talk about how the rate of tip-over injuries and deaths had not seen a decline, but there were zero dresser recalls in 2018,” said Crystal Ellis, founding member of Parents Against Tip-overs (PAT). “The data is not getting any better and the recalls of unstable dressers, though not zero, are still too few for what we know about the number of incidents per year. In fact, at that press conference, we brought in an example of a dresser that met the weak, voluntary standard set by ASTM that had killed the son of one of our members, and, to this day, it is still being sold. Then, as now, we say if it kills and injures kids, it should not be for sale. Kids are dying and the process of recalls and working on the voluntary standard is so slow, that we will continue to see injuries and deaths until we do something different. This is a call to action for the STURDY Act. This legislation is going to save lives by making the changes necessary to only allow safe dressers in the marketplace. We need a strong, mandatory standard that will account for real world use by families. No more children need to die from this preventable tragedy. PAT is proud to stand with KID to keep kids safe.”

“It’s alarming that infant inclined sleeper products are still being recalled and haven’t yet been banned,” said Abe Scarr, director of Illinois PIRG. “Congress should pass legislation to ban inclined sleepers once and for all, and recalling companies should work to ensure that they’re still not being used in homes and child care centers.”

The report also found that social media usage by the CPSC and recalling companies to alert consumers about recalled products has remained low. In 2020, the CPSC posted 49% of children’s product recalls on Facebook, 49% on Twitter, and only 10% on Instagram. Recalling companies were similarly low – 43% on Facebook, 29% on Twitter, and 21% on Instagram.

KID recommends the following:

  • Policymakers should strengthen and mandate furniture safety standards to prevent tip-overs, which the CPSC should enact. Current standards are only voluntary and do not adequately reflect real world use and injury scenarios.
  • The CPSC and recalling companies need to prioritize recall effectiveness. Every recall should be posted on social media in addition to other measures to increase the likelihood recalled products are removed from use.
  • The CPSC should recall all inclined sleep products still on the market or in homes, and policymakers should ban these inherently unsafe products to prevent more deaths. In addition, the CPSC’s proposed rule on Infant Sleep Products should be published.
  • Congress should provide adequate funding for the CPSC to fulfill its mission.
  • The CPSC should improve its capabilities to provide recall effectiveness data both through the FOIA process and by making recall effectiveness metrics public.

 

KID recommends that parents check SaferProducts.gov for recalls and injury reports and sign up for safety updates at KidsInDanger.org. In addition, parents should report problems with children’s products to the manufacturer and to CPSC at SaferProducts.gov.

Read the full report here.

Kids In Danger (KID) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting children by fighting for product safety. KID’s mission is to save lives by enhancing transparency and accountability through safer product development, better education and stronger advocacy for children. 

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