Government efforts to ensure that unsafe products are recalled from the marketplace are apparently not as effective as one would hope, particularly regarding products for children. A new study conducted by Kids In Danger (KID), an organization dedicated to improving children’s safety, shed some light on product recalls in 2016.
In a nutshell, the number of products aimed at children that were recalled during 2016 saw a 12% increase from 2015. Within this increase, injuries and deaths rose as well, with 394 injuries and seven deaths being reported prior to recalls being carried out.
A worrying statistic is that the number of reported incidents prior to recalls increased, demonstrating that companies’ response times became slower. In 2016, an average of 64 reports of serious flaws in product design were required before any serious action was taken by manufacturers. Some products took longer, despite incident reports. Hillsdale Furniture, for example, had 650 reports of side mattress support rails either cracking or breaking before recall.
During 2016, there were 76 product recalls, with over 66.8 million units of children’s products being recalled, which is the largest number since 2004.
The Report Card notes that a children’s product is defined as a product designed for the care of or use by children. This means that products such as cigarette lighters, window blinds and similar products, which pose a danger to children but are not specifically designed for use by children, were not included in the study.
On the upside, when companies and manufacturers do respond, they are making much more use of common channels of communication to do so. Companies have begun to use Twitter, Facebook, and other social media to publicize recalls of products, and these efforts have been buttressed by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) posting recalls on its own Facebook and Twitter accounts.
Further good news comes from the fact that in 2016, no cribs were recalled. This is largely due to 2008’s Consumer Product Safety Act, also known as “Danny’s Law”. The legislation enforces stringent safety measures on the production of numerous products, and has led to much safer products being sold to customers.
Despite the few upsides to 2016’s children product industry, much still remains to be done by manufacturers, parents, and caregivers.
Companies still have a long way to go in terms of the speed and manner in which they respond to injuries and deaths, involving their products. Consumers on the other hand, must be alert and aware of any recalls announced.
Product manufacturers must take responsibility for ensuring the safety of every consumer. When they don’t, the Alexander Law Group, LLP stands ready to hold them accountable. If you or a family member has been injured by a faulty product, Call us at 888-777-1776, or contact us online, for a free and confidential consultation.