Register Your Baby Products to Keep on Top of Recalls
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) issues hundreds of recalls every year. An important step in making sure you’re kept up-to-date about recalls that may affect you is to register the products in your home. Here’s more information about why you should register your products and how to do it.
Recalls Take Time
It takes time for information about product incidents to filter to the CPSC and generate a recall, so a baby product that was not recalled when you looked it up last month may be recalled now. Many recalled products were on the market for years before they were recalled.
Case in Point: Infantino’s Sling Rider Baby Slings were recalled in March 2010 after three infant fatalities associated with the product were reported in 2009. The sling had been available for purchase since 2003.
Recalls Can Evolve Over Time
Be aware of complacency after you’ve followed through with the corrective action prescribed by the manufacturer or the CPSC for a recalled product. New instructions or actions to be taken may be issued as more data and incidents are reported. A recall may also be expanded to include a broader range of products.
Case in Point: Phil and Ted’s meToo high chair was part of a May 2011 CPSC alert, warning consumers to stop using the product. The CPSC stated that Phil and Ted’s was not cooperating with a voluntary recall and the repair kit offered by the company was not adequate. An official CPSC recall was issued in cooperation with Phil and Ted’s in August 2011. Consumers who had installed the original repair kit were advised to stop using the product and request a new, updated repair kit.
While the idea of registering the products in your home (baby and non-baby) may seem daunting, we’ve found that WeMakeItSafer.com has made the process easy and efficient. Here are a few reasons to consider using their free service to keep up with recall information.
Register Everything in One Place
There’s no need to write and re-write (and re-write and re-write and…) your contact information for each product. Create a free account on WeMakeItSafer with your name and email address and you’re set. If you need to change your contact information, it’s one simple click, rather than having to correct your contact information with every company where you’ve registered a product.
Keep Your Personal Information Personal
Some of the product registration cards that come with new items ask for a long list of personal information: phone number, street address, gender, household income, marital status, education, how many children you have, and so on. WeMakeItSafer will keep you informed of important recall information with as little as your email address, which is kept confidential.
Get Recall Information Even if the Manufacturer has Gone out of Business
If you register your product directly with the manufacturer and they go out of business, they won’t be sending you any information about recalls of their products. WeMakeItSafer gets all of their information directly from the CPSC and NHTSA (for car seats) and will continue to alert you of recalls regardless of a manufacturer closing their business.
Case in Point: CPSC alerts were issued in February 2010 and February 2011 for Generation 2 Worldwide/ChildESIGNS/SafetyCraft full and portable size drop-side cribs due to infant fatalities resulting from faulty hardware. The manufacturer of the cribs closed in 2005.
Get Information About CPSC Alerts
Some manufacturers decline the CPSC’s request to issue a voluntary recall. The CPSC may issue an alert to warn consumers not to use the product, but you won’t be notified by a manufacturer if they are declining to participate. Some CPSC alerts also include information about refunds that may be available to you.
Case in Point: Simplicity Close-Sleeper/Bedside Sleepers were part of two CPSC alerts (August 2008 and 2009) urging consumers not to use the product after infant fatalities were reported. The 2008 alert states that Simplicity was bought by SFCA Inc., who claimed they were not responsible for products previously manufactured by Simplicity and refused to cooperate with a CPSC recall. The 2009 alert states that the manufacturer (SFCA Inc.) is no longer in business. It also includes a list of retailers who will provide a refund or store credit to consumers who return the product to the store of purchase.
The more you look at recall notices, the scarier the whole thing may feel, but an ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure. By registering your products and staying informed you can take back control and know you’re keeping your family safe from recalled products without having to continuously scour the web for new hazards.