Increased Product Recalls

The advocacy group Kids in Danger (KID) recently released its annual report examining children’s product recalls in 2017. The group reported that there was an increase in the number of products recalled but that the death and injury rate from defective products dropped when compared to 2016 numbers. The report suggested that overall the success of product recalls was unimpressive when averaged over the past decade and there is still much room for improvement.

What Was Recalled?

In 2017 there were 93 products recalled with almost 12 million total product units recalled. This was up 22% from 2016. The largest recall of 2017 was of Playtex children’s kitchenware which was recalled due to choking risks. Children’s clothing was the product category with the highest percentage of recalls. Most were recalled due to choking hazards and violation of federal flammability standards. Other products with a large number of recalls included the Britax B-Agile stroller and the BOB Motion stroller which were in danger of tipping over.

Why Were the Products Recalled?

Products were recalled for a variety of hazards. One-third of products were recalled because they posed choking, strangulation, or suffocation risks. Many of these recalls involved the detachment of small parts from a product that could lead to choking in young children. Another third of the products were recalled due to flammability, burns, or electric shock hazards. For example, nearly a dozen makes of hoverboards were recalled due to fire and explosion risks resulting from overheating batteries.

When Were the Products Recalled?

While there have been improvements, there are some indications that manufacturers are not acting fast enough to recall products. There were 153 injuries caused by 16 products before a recall. Some manufacturers failed to issue recalls until after dozens of injuries had already occurred. For example, the Really Good Stuff Magnetic Dry Erase Boards caused 40 injuries before they were finally recalled.

Are Recalls Working?

KID attempted to evaluate the effectiveness of recalls from 2016 but was unable to retrieve the data required because manufacturers are simply not forthcoming with the information. Recalls are crucial to protecting children from unsafe products. However, a recall announcement alone does not ensure that products are removed from the shelves and people’s homes. While the decrease in incidents and injuries involving defective products is promising, the averages over the past decade have held steady. The product safety system still has a long way to go to ensure that children aren’t injured by defective products.
If you believe that a defective product has injured you or your child, it is important to have an attorney evaluate your case as soon as possible. At Bonina & Bonina, P.C., we have over 50 years of experience helping injured New Yorkers in product liability claims. Contact us online or call us at 1-888-MED-LAW1 to schedule your free consultation. Home and hospital visits available. Se habla espaňol.