Thanks to EMPOWERED SAFETY for sponsoring Tech Tuesday today.
It seems like safety recalls happen frequently in the field of baby products, which is reassuring because it means there’s a system in place to keep consumers — and their babies — protected. But at the same time, every time I hear of a major one, it gives me a creepy feeling, knowing that I’m lucky, and someone else found out about a faulty product too late.
Here are some excerpts from letters consumers write:
“I TURNED AROUND AND NOTICED THAT HE BEGUN REMOVING THE PADDING MATERIAL AND BEGAN CHOKING ON IT AFTER IT WAS PLACED IN HIS MOUTH. HE WAS ABLE TO GAIN ACCESS TO THE PADDING MATERIAL BECAUSE THE FABRIC HOLDING IT IN PLACE HAD DETERIORATED AFTER IT WAS WASHED.”
“MY DAUGHTER IS ACTUALLY PULLING THE STUFFING FROM THE CARSEAT AND MY ELDEST CAUGHT HER PLACING SOME OF THE MATERIAL IN HER MOUTH. NOT TO MENTION ALL OF THE LOOSE THREADS AROUND THE EDGES THAT SHE IS BEGINNING TO PULL AT.”
“CHILD WAS ABLE TO PULL THE WHITE FIBERS FREE FROM THE UNDERSIDE OF THE SEAT COVERING, PUT THEM INTO HER MOUTH, ALMOST CHOKING AND VOMITING ALL OVER HERSELF. I HAD TO PULL THE FIBERS FROM HER MOUTH.”
That’s three different notes, all filed about the same car seat.
Well, it turns out that it doesn’t take just one consumer complaint for a recall to be issued. There may be many complaints — even hundreds — before a formal recall is required.
For example, 1.9 million units of my carseat of choice were recalled in 2014. The first consumer complaint relevant to the recall was dated January 2009. Five years passed, and in that time, 177 consumer complaints were filed.
Here’s how you can tune in:
A website called Empowered SAFETY contains a database of over half a million baby and children’s products. When you subscribe to the premium service and create a profile, you indicate which items you own, where you live, and the age and gender of your children.
Empowered SAFETY sends emails, prioritized by urgency, about safety issues related to products, food safety (which may be regional), home safety, and health and wellness issues (also regional).
This is the only service that alerts consumer to complaints before a recall has been issued.
If you want to see the specific complaints, you can click on the product. Note that you’ll see the complaints exactly as they’ve been made by consumers to government agencies or on blogs, so grammar and spelling police, you’re going to need to relax. It is helpful to see what real parents are saying, however, and to be made aware of the specific problem with the product, ie is it a buckle that breaks or padding that shreds so badly it becomes a choking hazard. (I never would have thought of that one!)
Empowered SAFETY offers a two-week free trial on their website, and I’ve got a promo code for you guys for 28 days free: ES28DAY94. Click through to Empowered SAFETY to use it.
We’re also giving away a 6-month membership to one lucky winner. I love that we are able to give away this valuable — and clutter-free!– safety tool.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Thanks again to Empowered SAFETY for sponsoring this post.