Product Hazards – Recalls

A recall is when the government and the manufacturer remove a product from the market because it is dangerous and poses a risk of serious harm. 

While both the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recall products, most children’s products are covered by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

However, even if the product is removed from store shelves very few steps are taken to remove the product from homes, childcare facilities, secondhand stores and garage sales. Millions of recalled products are still in use, which is why you should always check with SaferProducts.gov or the CPSC website to make sure your product has not been recalled.

Anything can be recalled. From toys and cribs to strollers and high chairs, essentially anything made by a manufacturer.

Recalls can occur in many different ways. Hazards in products come to CPSC in various ways. Sometimes a company will find a flaw in their own internal testing. Other times, unfortunately, it is found when a child is injured or killed. CPSC is limited in most cases to convincing the manufacturer to do a voluntary recall, so sometimes products remain in use, even if they have injured children.

Children’s products are recalled frequently: more than twice a week. That means there are on average over 100 children’s products recalled per year. Chances are you have a recalled product, which is why it is so important to check.

Unfortunately, manufacturers rarely pay to advertise the recall. When a product is recalled – even a product that has killed multiple children – manufacturers rarely pay to advertise the recall. Instead, they issue a press release. This news is very easy to miss. In fact, when a baby product is recalled, manufacturers typically only retrieve 10 to 30 percent of the units. This means that millions of dangerous recalled products are still in use, maybe even by you.

You are not alone if you have had a bad experience with children’s products. Often it is not an accident but a product flaw. The best way to ensure that it doesn’t happen again or to someone else is to report any incidents or other problems to the product manufacturer and to CPSC. You can also review other consumers’ reports at SaferProducts.gov.

Click HERE to view KID’s most recent Recall Digest, with all of the children’s products that have been recalled in the last month.

Do You Have a Recalled Product?

First, stop using it! Products are recalled because they are dangerous. Don’t take any chances by continuing to use a product that is not safe. Find the recall notice either by searching for it on the CPSC web site, or by calling CPSC at 1-800-636-CPSC. The notice will tell you if you need to return the product for a refund, or order a replacement part to make the product safe.

Click here to read in Japanese.

How to Check for Children’s Product Recalls

  • Search for recalls by product types
  • Use this to search for a specific product you already own. For example, a search for strollers would list all recalled strollers.

This search function is also good to use before you buy or use a second-hand product. For example, if you are going to use a second hand portable crib enter portable cribs into the search function and make sure yours does not appear on the list.

  • Search for recalls by manufacturer
  • If you own more then one product by the same manufacturer check all the products at once with this search function. For example a search for Graco would list every recalled Graco product.

Also use this search to check the safety history of manufacturers. For example if you were considering several manufacturers for a baby swing, checking each manufacturer’s list of recalls will give you a good idea if their swings are reliable and safe, or if they are often recalled.

  • Search for the most recent recalls
  • If you want to check the most recent recalls, search for recalls by month. Although this list will include all recalled products, not just children’s products, it is a great way to stay up to date on new recalls each month.
  • If you prefer to search for recalls over the phone, call CPSC at 800-638-CPSC and ask the operator if your products have been recalled.