How do dangerous baby products end up on store shelves?
Tue, 16 Oct 2012 18:12:16 GMT — A warning for parents -- there are dangerous baby products that can cause injuries, even death, and some of them are still on store shelves.Bring home a new baby and you bring home a house full of new equipment; products parents presume are safe to use.David Butler is deputy director for Consumers Union (CU) in Washington D.C."One of the most serious challenges there are products that may appear to give parents a false sense of security," says Butler.CU says products are designed and sold, and only after being used by children do some safety problems surface."That's always the challenge is making sure that those products are the very safest that they can be and when necessary trying to get these dangerous products off the store shelves but it is a very complex process that can take a while," says Butler.The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is in charge of tracking injuries and working with manufacturers to redesign products and sometimes issue a recall.At the CPSC'S lab, products are tested for safety and dangerous designs are discovered and recalled. For starters, more than 11 million drop side cribs have been recalled."It was specifically the drop side detached hazard and what happens, the baby can get caught, feet first... get caught at the head and neck area and strangle," says Nikki Fleming, a SPSC spokesperson.Beware of soft bedding; the CPSC says nearly half of all crib deaths are from suffocation.It warns never put pillows, quilts, cushions or even bumpers in the baby's crib.The CPSC says not to use sleep positioners; there have been at least 12 deaths."Never want to use a sleep positioner, baby can turn to their side, get caught at the head area on the bolster and suffocate," says Fleming.Another worry are baby sling carriers. At least 14 deaths have been reported."The commission is concerned about babies suffocating with the fabric against the nose and mouth or when the baby is in a curved position and gets caught chin to chest and can no longer breathe," says Fleming.Falls also injure children. Recently, Bumbo seats were recalled for a fix. 21 skull fractures were reported after babies fell out of seats placed on elevated surfaces."You want to get the restraint strap and add it to your Bumbo seat. A safer place is to always use the Bumbo seat on the floor," says Fleming.Baby bath seats are another problem. The seat can tip over and the baby can slip through the leg opening and drown."When you're setting up a house for a baby it's overwhelming the number of products being marketed to you and the essential things that you really do need that's why it's so important to do your homework to find out what you really need and what is considered safe," says Butler.Find out what consumers are complaining about when it comes to all kinds of products before you go shopping. Check the government website, SaferProducts.gov, it includes potentially dangerous products and products that have already been recalled.(Courtesy NBC News)
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