Even though the number of children's products recalled in the past year declined, the number of incidents and injuries connected to them rose sharply, according to a report released today by the advocacy group Kids in Danger.
The number of incidents involving recalled products rose 49 percent and the number of injuries by 42 percent despite recalls dropping to the lowest level in nearly a decade. Companies are obligated to report a potentially dangerous product to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission at the first signs it could be a hazard.
It's not yet clear whether companies were stalling or if increased use of the government's relatively new portal SaferProducts.gov, where consumers can report product hazards, is responsible for the uptick in reported incidents and injuries prior to recalls.
"It is possible that SaferProducts.gov and other efforts have encouraged more reporting of incidents," Kids in Danger executive director Nancy Cowles said. â€śBut more analysis is needed of reports of injuries and incidents, to understand why so many injuries are sometimes involved before a product is removed from homes and childcare facilities."
Other findings in the report include the number of childrenâ€™s product recalls dropped 20% from 2011 and that Companies are still routinely violating longstanding safety rules as evidenced by 21 recalls of clothing items that flammability standards, small parts standards, lead paint standards or a prohibition on the use of drawstrings.
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Mitch Lipka is one of America's leading consumer journalists and advocates. He is an expert in product safety, recalls, scams, and helping consumers get out of jams. He is a nationally known consumer columnist and runs TheConsumerChronicle.com. He lives in Worcester. You can find him on Facebook or reach him at ConsumerNews@Aol.com