Are companies required to recall products that could be harmful to children? Find out which factors determine when children’s products should be recalled.

When Do Companies Have to Issue Recall Alerts on Children’s Products?

dangerous baby products and toysHousehold products must be tested rigorously before they can be sold to consumers. However, sometimes defects in these items will only be discovered after they have entered widespread use in people’s homes. These unforeseen problems have led to recalls of nearly every type of consumer item from packaged foods to automobiles—and these products are especially dangerous to children, since children are simply more vulnerable to accidents and serious injuries.

Factors that Determine Child Recall Alerts

When a product is discovered to be potentially dangerous, the company is responsible for alerting the public, stopping production of the item, and issuing a recall to remove the product from circulation. Recalls are almost always voluntary and issued by the company or manufacturer who made and distributed the item. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) can also issue recalls for FDA-approved products, and will assess the company’s efforts in coordinating the recall to make sure consumers are protected.

The most common reasons children’s products are recalled include:

  • Choking hazards. Toys, rattles, and teethers are normally assessed for choking hazards, but furniture and clothing can also potentially have small parts that may break off and become lodged in a child’s throat.
  • Falls. The risks of unstable car seats and other items can cause hospitalization and broken bones for children nationwide. Just recently, Britax recalled its B-Agile and BOB motion strollers, citing a damaged mounting mechanism on the stroller that could allow the car seat to detach and fall from the stroller without warning.
  • Strangulation or suffocation. Children can be asphyxiated by dangling cords, overstuffed pillows, inflatable toys, and other objects—often in less than two minutes.
  • Crush injuries. Children’s cribs and furniture may topple over, trapping them underneath and causing internal injuries.
  • Laceration risk. Children are injured each year by toys and furniture that break apart or shatter, subjecting young children to cuts on their faces and hands.
  • Ingestion hazards. Not only are toys potentially dangerous to children, the foods they eat may be contaminated. In 2015, Kraft Foods Group voluntarily recalled over 200,000 cases of Macaroni & Cheese Dinner due to the possibility that some of the boxes could have been tainted with small pieces of metal.

If your child was injured by a dangerous product, we can help. Call our offices today to schedule an appointment with an experienced Seattle child safety attorney.