Why Indiana Parents Should Be Concerned about Children’s Product Safety

Children’s safety group, Kids in Danger has released a report into children’s product safety in 2010. The report is titled Moving toward Safety, and should be a fascinating read for any Indiana parent or Indiana personal injury attorney. Not surprisingly, the report shows that children’s products accounted for a large portion of recalls in 2010.

Specifically, 45% of all product recalls last year were related to children’s products, and out of these, nursery products and clothing were the most recalled items. That was a change from the past few years, when toys were the most recalled children’s product. Last year however, cribs, strollers, pacifiers and highchairs took over from toys as the most recalled products. In all, nursery products accounted for 29% of all children’s product recalls. Most of the nursery products that were recalled were linked to entrapment, strangulation and fall hazards. Clothing accounted for 28% of all children’s product recalls last year, and was most often linked to strangulation and choking hazards.

A major accomplishment in 2010 was the decline of toy product recalls, going down from 41% in 2008, to 21% in 2010. That is a remarkable achievement, accomplished at least in part by the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008, which established strict standards for lead and other chemicals in children’s toys.

Problems with children’s product safety also seemed to affect particular manufacturers more. For instance, last year, there were 14 manufacturers that had more than one product recall, while four manufacturers had three or more recalls. Fisher Price and the Williams-Sonoma brand had five product recalls in 2010 each.

An overwhelming majority of the recalled products last year were manufactured overseas, specifically in China, which accounted for 72% of all recalled products. However, products manufactured inside the United States may not be as safe as we assume. American- made products accounted for 18 product recalls last year.

As the report shows, there have been some advancements made in certain areas of children’s product safety, but we have a long way to go before parents can buy routine items like toys and clothing for their children, without anxiety. As Indiana personal injury lawyers, we would like to see progress in reducing the number of defective nursery products out there, because these affect some of the most vulnerable children.