What Parents Should Know About Recalls


Gabrielle Stephens is a worried mom.  “It seems as though everyday there is a product or food that is recalled and I worry about the dangers to my child,” says Stephens.  Gabrielle is not alone in her worry. Checking national headlines in just the past four months demonstrates the alarming information to the parents of children with special needs.  The public has seen recalls of infant liquid pain reliever, over the counter cough medicine, eggs, infant formula, children’s jewelry and Shrek glasses that accompanied Happy Meals.  What is a parent to do Gabriele asks?  The best defense is to stay informed.  Here are three ways parents can keep abreast of recalls:

1.  Use the resources of the Federal Government by visiting weekly these websites:

http://www.fda.gov/default.htm contains valuable information and advice for consumers on recalled products.

Recalls.gov http://www.recalls.gov/, pulls information from six United States federal agencies and places it into a searchable database. Consumers can subscribe to an email alert system so that they are notified when new recalls are issued.
U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission http://www.cpsc.gov/, has its own comprehensive site in which parents can search recent recalls and join their email subscription list. This website also has the additional benefit of allowing users to report injuries from defective products using an online form.

2.  Sign up for email alerts about recalled products at the websites mentioned above.

3. Be an informed consumer:

  • Read the warnings on all products and toys and assemble them according to the directions. Skipping steps can lead to dangerous malfunctions when in use.
  • Return the registration cards that come with the products or register online. Manufacturers use these registration lists to notify consumers when recalls are issued.
  • Be careful when shopping at thrift stores, consignment shops and garage sales for baby products. In the United States, only Illinois, Arkansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Rhode Island, Vermont, and New Jersey prohibit the resale of recalled items. People living outside of these states could inadvertently buy a recalled product from a secondhand source.

Biggest children’s product recalls of 2009 (November 2009) parenting.ivillage.com
Hickey, M. (February 2008). Hot topic: Toy safety. www.parents.com

Alana Tutwiller: : Children’s Product Recalls: What Parents Should Know About Product Safety for Kids