Category Archives: Recalls

Recent Recalls – Similac, Eggs, Children’s Jewelry

Recalls:  Powdered Baby Formula – Similac

Parents who have purchased Abbott Laboratories’ product Similac as powdered baby formula are concerned following announcements yesterday and today related to a recall of 5,000,000 containers of Similac, the well-known powdered baby formula.  The product is being recalled because it may contain insect parts of beetles and/or their larva.  (So far, the type of beetle has not been made known.)

Thus far, this recall does not affect any liquid baby formula manufactured by Abbott.  Abbott Laboratories, based in North Chicago, Illinois, voluntarily closed the area of the Michigan processing plant where this particular product was made after discovering insects and have consulted the Food and Drug Administration, which deemed there are no immediately perceived deleterious effects on babies’ health, other than possible gastro-intestinal discomfort, which might discourage babies from eating.

The Similac products were sold in various sized plastic containers, including 8, 12.4, and 12.9 ounce containers.  Consumers can access Abbott Labs’ 24-hour hotline by calling

1-800-986-8850 to learn more about the recall. If you have a container of  Similac, you also can enter the lot number of the container online at www.similac.com/recall to determine if your container is one of those being recalled. All recalled products may be returned to Abbott Laboratories free of charge for a full refund. The website and the consumer hotline both have instructions for purchasers on how to complete the recall.

Remember the Monster Egg Recall of approximately 4 weeks ago?

The widespread food recalls lately are forcing us as food purchasers and consumers to ask repeatedly, “How safe is the food we are buying, consuming, and feeding our children?” Here’s a peculiar note on the recent giant egg recall: two of the egg production executives involved have displayed entirely different reactions before Congressional hearings this week. While the DeCoster family (Wright County Egg) is devastated their eggs may have caused 1,600 people to become ill, the CEO of Hillandale pled the Fifth Amendment.  While we draw some conclusions, we wonder if massive corporate farm food production is leading to more frequent unsafe consumption by the general public? Does the food inspection process need to be ramped up to protect us and our children, in general? This is something we should consider as citizens, consumers, parents, and caregivers.

Children’s Mood Rings and Necklaces Recalled Due to Lead!

These “Love-Tester” Mood Rings and Necklaces manufactured in China and sold in small retail stores throughout the U.S. through D&D Distributing of Tacoma, Washington, contain high levels of lead which is toxic if ingested. These products directed to the children’s toy/jewelry market are being voluntarily recalled by the distributor, but 19,000-18″ Necklaces and 4,000 adjustable mood rings have been sold between 2005 and this date.  Beyond being disappointed, childsafetyblog.org asks why is a product labeled “Love Tester” and “Are You In The Mood?” being sold to young children in the first place? One must wonder!

Wishing you a safe first week of Autumn!

Toy Recalls and Another Look At Lead in Children’s Jewelry!

In accordance with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, the well-known children’s toy manufacturer, Fisher-Price, voluntarily recalled another children’s toy this past week.  Little People Play ‘n Go Campsite™ looked like a very attractive toy for kids.  Fisher-Price, based in East Aurora, New York, has produced and sold generations of parents their colorful, sturdy, good-looking toys for children; however, on August 5th, CPSC found it necessary to urge Fisher-Price to immediately recall 96,000 of the toys which were manufactured in China and exported to the U.S. and sold in the U.S. and Canada (14,000) from October 2009 through August 2010, for approximately $15.

The recall is due to the presence of small parts which may represent a choking hazard.  For a visual of this toy, go to the CPSC recall website located on the web at: http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml10/10313.html

The particular small parts found in the Play n’ Go Campsite set’s “Sonya Lee” doll, which bends at the waist, are the specific potential hazard.  The doll can break at the waist causing small parts to be exposed.  CPSC notes: “The seven-piece plastic play set includes Sonya Lee, a tent and other accessories. Product number R6935 is printed on the toy’s packaging. The name, Sonya Lee, is printed on the underside of the figure. The remaining pieces of the Little People Play ‘n Go Campsite are not affected.”

As parents, caregivers, and family members, we know small children love to put things in their mouths which don’t necessarily belong there and we must continue to remain vigilant about what they put in their mouths.  At the same time, this child safety blogger notes that it is a disappointment to see toys that are less than safe arrive from China for sale to parents of America’s children!

Recently, Good Housekeeping (June 2010, p. 128) published a brief article entitled “Lead in Kids’ Jewelry.” GH’s investigative reporters spotted some jewelry that actually bore warnings that the jewelry was “not for children under ages 7”- despite the jewelry’s obvious appeal directed to small children.  Good Housekeeping became suspicious and had a variety of children’s earrings and necklaces they purchased at Wal-Mart and Target analyzed: “All 7 items contained lead well above the legal limit for children’s products.” Most of the products also contained cadmium (another heavy metal which can be poisonous if consumed)”!

So again, we need to be more than vigilant when visiting the children’s jewelry counter.  According to GH, one small stud earring from Wal-Mart contained “124 times the permissible lead level for kids.”  Along with Good Housekeeping, ChildSafetyBlog.org recommends:  Keep all jewelry away from young children! While ingesting an item containing heavy metals may not cause immediate harm or death, parents and caregivers need to immediately call Poison Control (1-800-222-1222) if your child swallows such an item!

More Crib Recalls

In the broken record category, we had another major crib recall last week.  A company called Stork Craft Manufacturing, Inc. has recalled 2.1 million cribs.  The cribs were manufactured beginning in 1993, and have been sold by retailers such as Wal-Mart, BabiesRUs, K-Mart and Sears (among others).  Some of these cribs have the Fischer Price brand on them, and come in many different styles and finishes. For more information, go to the CPSC page on the recall, or go to the Stork Craft site via the link above.

This is not one of those recalls where a potential safety problem was discovered, and the recall occurred before anyone was hurt.  Here, four infants died, including a six month old in West Virginia.  These deaths are absolutely senseless.  First, it appears that this company has had hundreds of complaints about these cribs – why did it take so long for this recall to occur?  Second, why is it so hard to design a safe crib?  The hardware used to assemble these cribs is cheaply made, and therefore breaks easily.  This permits the drop side component of the crib to become loose, and enables a child to become entrapped between the drop-side and the mattress.  Once that happens, a baby can suffocate.  There are numerous crib designs that address this potential hazard, and in my opinion this company decided to cut corners to increase the profitability of the cribs.

As an aside, I have raised four babies, and each had a crib with a drop-side.  I don’t think I ever actually used this feature, and my wife has only done so a couple of times.  If I were purchasing a crib now, I would consider buying one without a drop-side – it introduces a movable part into the crib, and as a result there is an increased opportunity for malfunction.

More Window Blind and Shade Recalls After More Children Die

There’s nothing I find more senseless than children being seriously injured or dying as a result of a well known, and easily fixable, hazard.  Last year, I wrote about the strangulation danger posed by a common household item — window blinds and shades.  Since then, three more kids have died, and there is another recall.  The recall covers 4.2 million roll-up blinds with plastic slats made by Lewis Hyman Inc.; 600,000 Woolrich Roman shades; blinds and shades made by Vertical Land Inc. of Panama City Beach, Fla.; Roman shades by Pottery Barn Kids/Williams-Sonoma Inc.; 245,000 Lutron Shading Solutions fabric roller shades; 163,000 Roman shades by Victoria Classics; and IKEA is recalling 120,000 MELINA Roman Blinds.  The LA Times has a good article about the problem and the recall.

This is so infuriating.  This problem has been recognized for decades, yet shades and blinds are still being produced with this dangerous problem.  A group called Parents for Window Blind Safety has an informative website that focuses on correcting the danger.  It also brings the tragedy home as it shows the many children who have died as a result of these products.

The best solution for parents is to purchase cordless blinds.  Go here for available types, or ask for them at your local home improvement center.  If you have purchased these blinds, go to the CPSC to find out what to do.  At the very least, parents should cut cord loops of existing blinds in half, never leave your children unattended in a room with these blinds, and NEVER put a crib or play yard in the vicinity of a blind.

Safety 1st StairLight Stair Gate Recall

Durel Juvenile Group and the CPSC is announcing a recall of approximately 31,000  Safety 1st stair gates.  Apparently, the hinges can break and give way, which creates a fall hazard if the gate is placed at the top of the stairs.  Here’s what the gates look like:

Safety 1st Recalled Gate.jpg

This gate has a motion sensor which lights up when someone approaches.  The model number for the gate is 42111, and the number is printed on a sticker under the handle panel.  This gate was manufactured between January 2005 and  July 2009, and was sold in many big box stores, including Toys R Us, WalMart, and other retailers.  Shockingly, the gate was made in China.

Consumers should stop using the gate immediately and contact Dorel Juvenile Group (the importer) at (866) 690-2540 or to their website.  While there, check out the company’s numerous other recalls, including the 100,000 of these gates that have previously been recalled.

Toy Safety Organization Releases Its Annual Top 10 Worst Toys

Just in time for Christmas, an organization called W.A.T.C.H. (World Against Toys Causing Harm) has released its annual list of the top 10 worst toys.  What amazes me is that all of the hazards here have long been established — choking hazards, projectiles that can damage eyes, etc – yet these dangerous toys still reach the market.  There is no approval or evaluation process by any government agency for toys – the CPSC only steps in when a problem is identified.  Please go to the next page for the list.

Click here for a list of the worst toys of all time (complete with Lawn Darts).  These would be funny if not for the fact that each of these put thousands of kids needlessly at risk.
Animal Alley Purse Pet
Ninja Battle Gear – Michelangelo
Walk’n Sounds Digger The Dog
Pucci Puppies – My Own Puppy House Golden Retriever
Meadow Mystery Play-A-Sound Book With A Cuddly Pooh
Inflatable Giga Ball
Spider-Man Adjustable Toy Skates
Sportsman Shotgun
Extreme Spiral Copters
Go Go Minis Pullback Vehicle

Parents — Check Your Window Blinds – Recalls of Blinds Made by Ikea and Green Mountain Vista

Some hazards are obviously dangerous to kids – the Drano under the sink, a pot of boiling water on the stove, or a car backing out of the driveway.  Those are things we as parents intuitively know can be dangerous to our kids, so we take precautions such as cabinet locks and stove guards to protect them. 

Not all hazards are so obvious, but they can be just as dangerous.  Window blinds are a great example.  They seem innocent enough, and it certainly doesn’t seem like a child could hurt himself (or herself) if left alone with one.  Yet, the cords on certain window blinds can present a serious strangulation hazard to young children.  Over the years, hundreds of boys and girls have been seriously injured and even killed by becoming entangled and then strangled by window blind cords.

On Thursday, the CPSC issued two recall alerts.  Popular furniture maker IKEA is recalling its IRIS and ALVINE Roman Blinds, and Green Mountain Vista Inc of Williston, Vt. is recalling its Insulated Black-Out Roller Shades and Insulated Roman Shades. This past April, a one year old girl in Greenwich, Ct.tragically died as a result of strangulation by the cord of an IKEA blind.  She was found in her playpen with the cord from a nearby fully lowered blind wrapped twice around her neck.  This past June, a two year old girl from Bristol, Ct, was nearly strangled by a Green Mountain Vista blind when she placed a cord loop around her neck and then fell.  Luckily, she was saved by her brother.

The IKEA shades were sold at its stores nationwide for between $7 and $30 from July 2005 through June 2008.  The Green Mountain Vista shades were sold nationwide for between $60 and $200 at the following stores: Target.com, Plow & Hearth, Country
Curtains,
The
Curtain Shop of Maine,
Sturbridge, Yankee
Workshop, Ann & Hope,
The Linen Source, Solutions Catalog, and The Sportsman’s Guide.

IKEA’s recall states that users should return the blinds to one of its stores for a full refund.  Green Mountain says that users should check their blinds to see if the tensioning device is still attached.  If it’s not, they should contact Green Mountain Vista at (800) 639- 1728 or go to its website.

For window blind safety, I found a great site — the Window Covering Safety Council.  I highly recommend checking out this site and then checking your window coverings.  Here are basic safety tips from their website:

Install only cordless window coverings in young children’s bedrooms and sleeping areas. Replace window blinds, corded shades and draperies manufactured before 2001 with today’s safer products

Move all cribs, beds, furniture and toys away from windows and window cords, preferably to another wall

Keep all window pull cords and inner lift cords out of the reach of children. Make sure that tasseled pull cords are short and continuous-loop cords are permanently anchored to the floor or wall. Make sure cord stops are properly installed and adjusted to limit movement of inner lift cords

Lock cords into position whenever horizontal blinds or shades are lowered, including when they come to rest on a windowsill.

If you have any questions or need more information, please email Bryan Slaughter.

Recalls of Childrens’ Products – Child Safety Information

One of the important things I’d like to do with this site is provide a place where parents can get quick, easy access to recall information for children’s products.  Up-to-date recalls will be posted, and eventually we’ll have a sign-up for a monthly or weekly electronic newsletter that will, among other things, contain current recall information.

But what is a recall of a consumer product such as a toy or child safety seat?  A recall is a corrective action by a company with regard to a product that it has discovered may be unreasonably dangerous to users.  The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has jurisdiction over toys and child safety seats sold in the United States, as well as other consumer products such as household appliances, sporting equipment and furnaces.  It does not have jurisdiction over motor vehicles, drugs, pesticides or medical devices (other government agencies have jurisdiction over those).

The Consumer Product Safety Act (CPSA) is the umbrella statute for the CPSC.  Section 2064(b) of the Act requires manufacterers, importers, distributors and Retailers to report to CPSC information about products that are potentially hazardous.

A firm or company must notify the CPSC if it discovers information that suggests one of it’s products:

1)     contains a defect that could create a substantial product hazard;
2)     presents an unreasonable risk of serious injury or death;
3)     violates a mandatory CPSC standard.

If you would like to report a toy, car seat or other product that you believe is dangerous, go here.

If you would like more information on what has been recalled, go here or here.

As I stated above, we will soon have a regular email or electronic newsletter going out with current recall information.  If you would like to receive this information, please email me, Bryan Slaughter.