For Immediate Release: April 3, 2017
April 3, 2017
Nancy A. Cowles
Children’s Product Recalls, Associated Incidents, Injuries and Deaths all Jump in 2016: New Report Card from Kids In Danger
(CHICAGO) The actions of a few companies helped reverse the trend of fewer recalls as well as the incidents and injuries associated with them last year. A new report card by Kids In Danger (KID) gives barely passing grades to current recall efforts.
Developing mandatory standards for children’s products is a required part of the breakthrough 2008 Consumer Product Safety Act (CPSIA). A key section of the CPSIA is named for Danny Keysar, whose parents founded KID – a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting children by improving children’s product safety. One impact of that law is that no crib recalls occurred this year for the first time since the law was adopted and strong new crib standard adopted. The bad grades are due to the lack of corresponding changes in the recall process itself.
KID has released A KID Report Card: Children’s Product Recalls in 2016. The report reviews recall data from the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) for 2016 as well as looks at recall effectiveness for 2015 recalls. There were 76 children’s product recalls and over 66.8 million total units of children’s products recalled in 2016, the largest number of units since the recall in 2004 of 150 million vending machine toys.
“We saw some large recalls – two with 29 million units each – as well as recalls that were delayed despite large numbers of incidents and injuries,” said Nancy Cowles, Executive Director of KID. “Sippy cups that grow mold and sicken children, strollers that lose wheels and injure both occupants and caregivers are just a few of the recalls involving large numbers of injuries this year.”
Additional findings of the report include:
- The number of children’s product recalls (76) increased 12% from 2015.
- There were 66,813,956 total units of children’s products were recalled, the highest in any year since 2001 except 2004 when 150 million vending machine toys were recalled.
- Incidents, injuries and deaths rose sharply with a total of 4,842 incidents, 394 injuries and seven deaths reported before recalls were issued in 2016.
- Nursery products led recalls with 32% of children’s product recalls, but for the first time in a decade no cribs were recalled.
- Sixty percent of companies with a Facebook page used it to publicize the recall – a dramatic increase from the past.
- With required recall effectiveness data reports on only 37% of recalls – and those did not all contain a full year’s worth of data – it is impossible to state how companies are doing in retrieving or repairing recalled products.
“Some of the data was unavailable because CPSC’s rules allow companies to shield data from the public,” stated Cowles. “But a lot of it was missing or incorrect in the forms filed with CPSC. It is hard to fathom how companies and CPSC are measuring recall effectiveness when the basic information they require is not being provided.”
“Despite improvements in standards and social media use, some recalls are still happening too slowly and too little is being done to get the product out of homes,” concluded Cowles. “KID is making this our priority for 2017 and we hope other stakeholders, including CPSC, will as well.”
In a statement, Janet and Jeremy McGee whose son Teddy McGee was killed by the IKEA MALM dresser in February 2016, asked, “When your son’s death is the last of a long string of injuries and deaths over a 27 year period of time, you can’t help but wonder why this had to happen. What would life be like today had IKEA actedsooner to recall these defective dressers?”
KID will continue to work to provide consumers, manufacturers, and policymakers with the information they need to increase recall effectiveness, broaden consumer awareness, and decrease incidents, injuries and deaths related to children’s product recalls.
“I’m proud of the work we’ve done with Kids In Danger to implement stronger safety standards for children’s products, and this year’s report reminds us of how important this work remains,” Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan said. “I thank Nancy Cowles and Kids In Danger for their dedication to making sure parents and caregivers learn about unsafe products and toys. It saves children’s lives.”
“This report clearly indicates the continued need to educate providers, parents, and the public about children’s product safety. Kids In Danger’s findings show that companies need to issue recall notices much earlier in the process when product safety issues become apparent,” said Choua Vue, Director of Policy & Community Engagement at Illinois Action for Children. “We are proud to work with our friends at Kids In Danger to help them lead the state’s efforts on these critical issues for children where they live and in child care programs across throughout Illinois.”
“KID’s latest recalls report shows the importance of a strong CPSC,” said Andre Delattre, U.S. PIRG Executive Director. “Also, the transparency of recall disclosures and CPSC’s public SaferProducts.gov database help keep us safer and both must be protected.”
KID recommends that parents check SaferProducts.gov for recalls and injury reports and sign up for safety updates at KidsInDanger.org. Accessing KID’s website on a mobile device allows consumers to search for recall information while shopping or considering a second-hand product. In addition, parents should report problems with a product both to the manufacturer and to CPSC at SaferProducts.gov, and urge elected representatives to make strong standards and recall effectiveness a priority.
More information about Kids In Danger and dangerous juvenile products is available at www.KidsInDanger.org