Posted by Marianne Frederick
Since readers can now access the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s recalls on our ChildSafetyBlog.org site (see the CPSC recall link on the right), we don’t write as much about recalls as we have in the past.
However, this is one product with which we can and should take issue: On August 23, 2012, 119,000 CareBears Pacifiers, made in China and imported to the U.S., were recalled due to a choking hazard. They were sold from 2009 through 2012 for one dollar — and because they were so cute and cheap, a lot were sold — and now they are in babies’ mouthes.
Most parents know what a pacifier is. It goes in a baby’s mouth–helps baby to be quiet and calm, and helps mom, dad or both to retain their sanity. But pacifiers need to be safe (as well as clean), because they go in baby’s mouth. Pretty simple, right?
I am pretty sure that many parents, as well as retailers, have had it to the yin-yang with un-safe children’s (and adults’) products manufactured in China and imported to the U.S. Children’s products failing or causing harm is scarier somehow–adults are more often able to figure out what is safe and what is not, hopefully. Young children can’t and don’t complain–as long as a toy is shiny or colorful–but by the time a cadmium-covered stuffed animal or a faulty pool slide has hurt a child, the damage is done and it may even be too late for a child to recover.
Once again it is left to parents to be the safe guardians of their children, and this is one more impassioned plea to parents: Really look at the toys and products–in this case, pacifiers–that you purchase for your children! If a toy looks unsafe, don’t buy it. If you think a toy or product could possibly come apart and it has small parts that could detach, don’t buy the product–whether it’s made in China, Timbuktu or Pittsburgh. This is the message we, as parents and consumers, need to yell from the rooftops to the manufacturers and sellers of unsafe products for children! Perhaps there should be stiffer penalties for selling faulty or dangerous items.
As sensible adults, we still have some choices. Buying safer toys and reliable products for kids usually has a better, safer outcome; and more than anything, we want our children to be safe.