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This month's recall digest (English & Spanish)
KID Design Safety Toolkit

For Immediate Release: April 3, 2018, 10:30 AM
Media contact:
Nancy A. Cowles
312.595.0649
nancy@kidsindanger.org

Children’s Product Recalls Jump in 2017, While Incidents and Injuries Decrease: New Report from KID

(CHICAGO) Despite a rise in the number of recalls, other trends surrounding children’s product recalls in 2017 appear positive in comparison to the anomalous 2016 data; however, these numbers do not show adequate progress when compared to decade averages. A new report by Kids In Danger (KID) assesses the lackluster progress in children’s product safety and the opacity of the recall system.

KID has released A KID Report: 2017 Children Product Recalls and 2016 Recall Effectiveness. The report reviews recall data from the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) for 2017 and outlines challenges in assessing recall effectiveness for 2016 recalls. There were 93 children’s product recalls in 2017, a 22% increase from 2016. However, those 93 recalls represented 11.8 million total units, a significant decrease from the previous year. The 2016 numbers were inflated due to two high-profile recalls from IKEA and McDonald’s, both with 29 million units recalled. This year marked the second year in a row since the passing of the 2008 Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) in which no cribs were recalled. Furthermore, there has been an increase in companies using social media to publicize recalls.

Unfortunately, companies that recalled products in 2016 did not provide full and accurate reports of their effectiveness, obscuring further evaluation of the recall process. Many of the reports included mathematical impossibilities and discrepancies; others were incomplete or key information was redacted. Since KID began examining recall effectiveness through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), it has been impossible to establish trends in the progress or lack thereof within the recall process.

Additional findings of the report include:

  • The number of children’s product recalls (93) increased 22% from 2016.
  • There were 11,854,605 total units of children’s products recalled.
  • Incidents, injuries and deaths declined from 2016 with a total of 1,630 incidents, 153 injuries and zero deaths reported before recalls were issued in 2017.
  • Clothing products led recalls with 29% of children’s product recalls. For the second year in a row, no cribs were recalled.
  • Sixty-nine percent of companies with a Facebook page used it to publicize the recall – continuing the upward trend from 2016. The CPSC posted about 75% of recalls on their new Facebook page.
  • With full reports from only eight percent 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.

“KID has been reporting on children’s product recalls since 2002. As we approach our 20th anniversary this year it is disheartening we don’t appear to be much closer to effective recalls now despite enormous leaps in communication resources to reach consumers,” stated Nancy Cowles, Executive Director of KID. “We need better data to evaluate recalls, more transparency to get relevant information to consumers, and a commitment from CPSC and industry that 100% return rate is their goal.”

“It’s clear that manufacturers have to do more to make sure people are alerted to recalls because we still see far too many preventable injuries and tragedies,” Attorney General Lisa Madigan said. “I encourage families and caregivers in Illinois to look to Kids In Danger to keep their kids safe because there are always dangers and plenty of things in your home that could put your child at risk.”

“KID’s latest recalls report shows the importance of a strong CPSC,” said Hannah Kim , Illinois PIRG Advocate. “Also, the transparency of recall disclosures and CPSC’s public SaferProducts.gov database help keep us safer and both must be protected.”

KID demands that the CPSC do more to promote recall effectiveness by holding manufacturers accountable for reporting accurate data, preventing malicious use of Section 6(b) to hide data, and digitizing their reporting process. 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 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. CPSC and industry must devote resources to adequate tracking and conduct effective recalls.

Visit KidsInDanger.org for more information.

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