For Immediate Release: September 7, 2017
New report highlights fire and burn risks from recalled children’s products
(Chicago) Kids in Danger (KID) has released Playing with Fire Hazards: An analysis of children’s products recalled for fire hazards from June 2007 to July 2017 to raise awareness about dangerous children’s products and promote safety. “Caretakers often assume that products on the market are safe for use, especially if they are intended for children, but too frequently that is not the case,” said Nancy Cowles, Executive Director of KID. The report found:
- Between June 2017 and July 2017, 121 children’s products were recalled for fire and burn hazards.
- These products resulted in a reported 1,000 incidents, 159 injuries, and 2 deaths.
- Defects included: violation of federal flammability standards, battery failure, electrical failure, exposure to hot substance/surface, and ignitable.
- Of the 121 products recalled for fire and burn hazards, 46 were articles of clothing that violated federal flammability standards and 44 were toys, most of which contained defective batteries.
- In total, more than 40 million units were recalled, including 29 million units of the McDonald’s “Step–iT” Activity Wristbands.
In addition to reporting on the recalls, Playing with Fire Hazards analyzes trends, such as the large number of products that are recalled for violating federal flammability standards and the emerging hazard of lithium-ion batteries. KID also found that an average of 12.1 products recalled for fire and burn hazards each year in the 10 year period between 2007 and 2017 greatly exceeded the average 5.47 products recalled each year in the fifteen year period between 1992 and 2017. “The fact that significantly more products were recalled in the past 10 years compared to the preceding 15 years is concerning,” said Celia Cullom, the report’s author. “It indicates that dangerous products are making their way into consumers’ homes at an ever-increasing rate.”
KID’s other research on recalls show that most recalled products remain in homes – with only around 10% accounted for through the recall process. In fact, we were able to purchase some of these recalled products online and saw others for sale in online marketplaces.
In researching this report, KID examined recall press releases issued jointly by the product manufacturer and the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and children’s products posing a fire, burn, or electric shock hazard were recorded.
KID recommends that parents check any children’s products at CPSC.gov and sign up for safety updates at www.KidsInDanger.org. In addition, parents should report problems with a product to the CPSC (www.saferproducts.gov) as well as to the manufacturer.