According to a recent report by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), the number of infant deaths involving faulty nursery products has dramatically increased in recent years. According to the CPSC, 66 400 children under the age of five were seriously hurt in nurseries in 2006. In that same year, the number of infant injuries directly due to nursery products was 59 800.
In addition to these statistics, a number of high-profile cases have made parents aware of the sorts of injuries that faulty infant products can cause. In 2007, for example, over one million Simplicity bassinets and cribs were recalled. The infant beds were defective, and as a result at least four infants died as a result of them. According to an investigation conducted by the Chicago Tribune newspaper, both the company selling the beds and the CPSC had been aware that the cribs contained parts that when improperly installed could result in the suffocation and death of infants using the cribs.
According to the CPSC, infant products that are most likely to be associated with infant injuries and infant fatalities include car seats, high chairs, infant carriers, cribs, bassinets, strollers, and walkers. In many cases, the injuries to infants are caused by product failures or defective products. In nearly 42% of injuries, infants sustained head injuries or brain injuries as a result of falling while using infant products.
In addition to infant products, toys have also been found to cause deaths and serious injury. In 2007 alone, more than 25 million toys were recalled as defective products. In some cases, the instructions that came with the toys were unclear or incomplete, making it easy for parents to assemble or use the toys correctly. In some cases, the toys did not come with a warning about potential hazards or injuries.
Parents concerned about infant product safety might want to consider subscribing to newsletters and e-alerts about defective products. This helps parents immediately learn of potential dangers with products. Parents should also fill out the registration cards included with car seats, high chairs, infant carriers, cribs, bassinets, strollers, and walkers. Manufacturers will notify parents about any recalls.
Another option is for parents to use Google alerts, an online free service. Parents can have the search engine Google send an email alert any time a particular brand name or product is mentioned in the news. Simply setting up alerts for every infant product purchased will ensure that parents are alerted quickly after a recall. Google alerts is especially effective because investigative reporters will sometimes announce a possible problem or complaints about an infant product before a company recalls the item.