How safe are your children’s toys? As a parent, you hope the makers of your child’s toys are all acting responsibly. You want them to use safe materials and test the products to ensure they don’t pose any risk. And yet manufacturers recall dozens of unsafe toys every year.
As the advocacy group Kids in Danger notes, an average year will see the recall of more than 100 products aimed at children. These recalls typically start in one of two ways. But no matter how they start, it’s important to understand the recalls are serious.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission
Different government agencies oversee the recalls of various products. The agency responsible for children’s products is the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).
Typically, the agency becomes aware of product safety issues after someone files a report. As the agency notes, anyone can file a report. Most recalls start with the manufacturer or the parents of an injured child:
- Manufacturers might start a recall after they learn a product is unsafe. They might learn about the risk as a result of internal testing, or they might receive a complaint.
- Parents can file a report anytime they learn about a product risk. The CPSC investigates these reports. When it confirms that there’s a real danger, it will push a recall.
In an ideal world, all these recalls would start with the discovery of a potential danger. But the truth is they often start after a product causes a child to suffer serious injuries or death.
What can parents do?
Naturally, if you learn that the CPSC has issued a recall of your child’s toy, you want to keep it away from your child. The recall notice should say if you can return the item for a refund or if you can order something to make it safe.
However, the bigger problem is that you may not realize there’s a recall. As Kids in Danger notes, manufacturers don’t spend much to advertise the recalls. So, they typically recall just a fraction of the items in circulation. Maybe 10 to 30 percent.
This means you want to be pro-active. You can check the CPSC database to see if there are any recalls for your child’s toys. If a defective product causes damage, you can sue, but you don’t want to get that far. It’s better to keep your child safe.