Thursday, April 01, 2004
Report criticizes recall process, questions U.S. commitment to kids
Fewer children's products are being recalled these days, but it's not because the products are safer, says a news report from Kids In Danger. It's because the recall practices are faulty.
The Chicago-based nonprofit dedicated to improving children's products studied monthly recalls released by the federal Consumer Produce Safety Commission in 2003. The findings show that companies and manufacturers promoting cognitive learning coated their products in lead paint, children's clothing manufacturers used flammable fabrics, night-lights exploded and crib mobiles leaked battery acid.
In addition, the organization found that children's products accounted for only 30 percent of all recalls in 2003, down from from 50 percent in 1999.
"We need to be aware of what regulatory companies are doing to protect us and our children," says executive director Nancy Cowles. "There are no mandatory standards for products. We think that perhaps [companies] aren't looking as closely as they should. As parents, we assume more is being done than what really is."
Based on the findings, Kids In Danger reccomends stricter mandatory safety standards and independent testing before the products hit the shelves, Cowles says. For more information, call (312) 595-0649 or visit www.KidsInDanger.org.
The following products were recalled by the Consumer Product Safety Commission from Feb. 16 to March 16. For more information, call (800) 638-2772 or visit www.cpsc.gov.
• Webster Activity Spider Toy, Mary Meyer Corp. The spider has plush, stuffed feet that can detach, posing a choking hazard for young children.
• Legacy Cribs, Child Craft Industries. The slats on the drop-side rail can loosen and detach, posing a risk of injury or strangulation.
• Children's rings, Brand Imports. The rings contain high levels of lead, posing a risk of lead poisoning.
• Wooden Music Radios, Schylling Associates. The turning knob and antennae may break off, posing a choking hazard and exposing sharp edges.
• Space heaters, Lasko Products. The power cord can overheat and detach from the unit, posing a fire hazard or risk of burning. Ashley Ernst