It's scary for parents to see a news article proclaiming a baby products recall for an item they own. While newer, mandatory federal safety standards have reduced the need for so many recalls of products such as cribs, strollers, high chairs, and clothing, there are still many baby and child products that, for various reasons, need to be recalled each year in the U.S. If a large number of products are recalled, or a child is injured or killed, the recall notice could receive a lot of publicity.
However, there are many smaller recalls, or those that happen when other major events dominate the news, that are not widely publicized. That's why it's a good idea to learn how to check for recalls on any baby products you own!
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is a government agency that protects the public from harm by more than 15,000 types of products. Damages from unsafe consumer products cost the U.S. more than $700 billion per year, but thanks to CPSC there has been a 30% drop in injuries and deaths from consumer products in the last 30 years. CPSC's website lists recalls of products that are harmful to humans or property. Here's how you can learn which baby products or toys are affected by a recall.
Using the CPSC Website
- Visit the Consumer Product Safety Commission website.
- In the blue bar across the top, click on the Recalls tab. Then click on Recall List in the white bar that drops down below the blue.
- Decide how you want to search for recalls. You can search by recalls by date by entering a date range on the left side of the white search box. You can also just type in the product name or a general term such as "crib" or "stroller" before clicking "apply."
- Browse the list of recalled products and click on any products that you may have in your home. This will bring up a page with complete details on the recall. Check model numbers and manufacture dates on your items against those listed on the product's recall information page to see if your items are included in the recall.
- If you find that you have a product in your home that is affected by a recall, read the entire recall information page for the product at CPSC's website. The sections titled Remedy and Consumer Contact will help you decide what to do. Follow the instructions in these sections to resolve the problem with your product. The resolution may include a full refund, sending away for replacement parts or exchanging the defective product for a new one. You may need to visit a manufacturer's website, a specific recall page from the manufacturer, make a phone call. or visit a store in order to exchange or return the product.
- Make note of the hazard that caused the recall. Were any children or adults injured by the product? Is the risk only when the product is used in a certain way or mode? Is it safe to continue using the product while you wait on a remedy?
- Report unsafe products! If you have a product, recalled or otherwise, that has caused damage to a person or to your property, and would like to report it to CPSC, use the online forms.
Searching for Car Seat, Food, and Medicine Recalls
- Please note that CPSC does not have jurisdiction over carseats or cosmetic products.
- If you'd like to search for car seat recalls from 1990 to present, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's carseat recall website at http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/cars/problems/recalls/childseat.cfm.
- While CPSC does have jurisdiction over child-safe packaging, if you want to search for recalls of medicines or cosmetic items that your child may have contact with, you will need to visit the U.S. Food and Drug Administration at http://www.fda.gov.