Product Liability: Why Baby Product Recalls are So Common

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As a parent, all you want to do is protect your child. But, when it comes to the unexpected, it’s not so easy to cover every angle, especially when it comes to staying on top of product recalls.

Product recalls are issued when the government and manufacturer remove a product from the market because it is found to be dangerous, causing serious risk of harm. They exist to protect people of all ages from faulty merchandise.

Most baby product recalls are covered by the Consumer Product Safety Commission, or CPSC. The CPSC receives hazardous product warnings and advisories in different ways. Sometimes, a company will find a flaw in their own internal testing. Other times, sadly, that flaw won’t be found until a child is injured or killed.

Recalls are due to many factors. One of the largest causes is
due to design defects, meaning a product’s design is defective as opposed to some portion of the product being manufactured. When products are found to have defective design conditions, they can cause accidents, injury and even death, ultimately failing to perform to the expectations of the consumer.

Child and baby product recalls include everything from clothes, to cribs, to strollers and high chairs. The five most common child safety product recalls are:

  1. Toys
  2. Seats and Chairs
  3. Strollers
  4. Cribs
  5. Bath Items

Once a recall is issued, the product is removed from store shelves. However, even after removal, very few steps are taken to remove a product from the hands of the consumer, leaving millions of recalled products still in use. This is why it is important that you make every effort to continually check product recalls. Children’s products alone are recalled, on average, more than twice a week! That’s more than 100 child product recalls per year!

So, why are recalls so common? Well, industry has undergone many, many changes throughout the years. Lean manufacturing, robotics, big data, intensive quality control and digitization are all pushing towards zero defects results. However, none of these factors account for consumer and industry demands.

As consumer demands grow, so do changes to industry supply chains and internal issues companies often face. A few of these complications that contribute to recall commonality include:

New Product Introductions

Today’s consumers are very impatient. Impatience leads to on-demand, new product orders, and by the time a new product is officially presented to the public, it is expected to ship worldwide in huge numbers.

However, new products mean developing new manufacturing processes and machinery. As with anything new, the high demand means increased possibilities for error, no matter how much planning and testing go into a product line. There simply isn’t enough time to work out all of the kinks.

Fears of Bad PR

With increased reach and use of the Internet, smart devices and sharing platforms like social media, a company or brand can be brought down with just one click of a button. News, or in this case, news of a product recall, can travel so fast that it can be a PR nightmare.

Product recalls are a company’s way of getting ahead of that nightmare, reaching out, and telling the public, “Hey, don’t worry. We’re aware of the issue and we’re working to fix it.”

Changes in Supplier Strategy

Outsourcing and supplier strategies have become a prime tool when it comes to increased production. However, with any supplier change-ups comes the initial increase in the possibility of defects as these new sources find their footing and rhythm.

Ultimately, when it comes to understanding product recall and its commonality, it can only be defined as complex. Products are complex, markets and consumer behavior are complex, and supply chains are complex.

The only way to stay ahead of it is to make product safety checks part of your routine. Every parent should be proactive in his or her search for both recent and past child safety recalls. Remember, recalls don’t expire. So, these regular checks are especially important if you receive hand-me-downs or shop secondhand.

If you have a recalled product, stop using it immediately! Products are recalled for a reason – they are dangerous. Don’t take any chances. Simply find the recall notice (either through web search or by calling the Consumer Product Safety Commission at 1-800-636-CPSC), and the notice will advise you on how to proceed, providing either return information for a refund or direct you on how to order a replacement.

If you have already been injured by a defective product, recalled or not, contact the skilled and proven team at Coxwell & Associates, PLLC at (601) 948-1600 for a free case consultation.

Disclaimer: This blog is intended as general information purposes only, and is not a substitute for legal advice. Anyone with a legal problem should consult a lawyer immediately.

Disclaimer: This blog is intended as general information purposes only, and is not a substitute for legal advice. Anyone with a legal problem should consult a lawyer immediately.

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