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Defective Products, Recalls, and Parenting

Posted on August 14, 2017
by Marianne C. LeBlanc

Marianne C. LeBlanc
N

New parents are often amazed at all the furniture, clothing, and toys that take over their homes.  Some of that new gear, especially cribs, car seats, high chairs, and strollers, can pose an unexpected threat of injury to infants. 9.2 million children go to the emergency room every year due to accidental injuries.

A recent event illustrates the point: a father and mother were watching television after putting their 18-month-old son to bed. Over the baby monitor, they heard the boy start crying. After waiting a few minutes to see if he would go back to sleep, the baby’s cries got louder and more insistent. His father then checked on him and found the baby’s leg caught in the slats of the crib. The baby had pushed his leg through the slats, all the way up to his thigh, and it was firmly stuck. Neither parent could move the baby’s leg without hurting him, and the baby’s leg was turning red and starting to swell, and he was screaming in pain. The father ran to the cellar, got a handsaw, and cut through one of the wooden slats to free the baby’s leg.  Fortunately, the baby wasn’t hurt.

The family was lucky; if they had waited longer to see why their son was crying, he could have suffered a permanent injury. Unfortunately, many families aren’t so fortunate. Every year, thousands of infants are injured by defective products.

Recall Information to Help Protect your Family:

  • Sign up to receive recall notices of dangerous, defective products from the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission at www.cpsc.gov.

  • Register your products with their manufacturers when possible.  In the event of a recall, manufacturers should use that information to inform you.

  • After learning about a recall, stop using the recalled product immediately.  Even if your child has been using it a long time, the risk of injury outweighs the inconvenience of finding an alternative.

  • The recall notice will explain how you can replace or repair the product, or refund your money.

Even if a product hasn’t been recalled, it may be dangerous

Follow these tips to help keep your children safe:

  • Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when assembling furniture and toys.  Periodically check to make sure screws and hardware remain tight.

  • Car seats can be difficult to install properly.  Read the installation manual carefully.  If you need help, many fire departments will install your car seat for free.

  • Never leave your child unattended in a high chair, stroller, car seat, or shopping cart.

  • Replace broken or worn out cribs, strollers, high chairs, and toys — they may no longer support your child’s weight, and broken shards may cause cuts.

  • Thousands of children are injured falling from cribs each year.  If your toddler starts trying to climb out, consider switching to a toddler bed.

  • Keep electrical wires and curtain cords out of your toddler’s reach. They can cause strangulation.

  • Avoid scalds by lowering your water heater temperature to 120° Fahrenheit.

  • Read and follow manufacturers’ warnings before letting children play with new toys

  • Federal guidelines for cribs changed in 2011. Check CPSC's Crib Q&A before using an antique or hand-me-down crib, especially if it has a drop-side rail.

If you, or someone you know, has a child that was hurt by a manufactured product, contact a SUGARMAN principal to discuss your options.  You can fill out a Contact Form, call us at (617) 542-1000, or e-mail info@sugarman.com for a consultation.