A trendy child carrying product, similar to a baby sling, has been recalled by the Playtex manufacturer due to concerns regarding the safety of the item. The company released a statement describing their concerns and the reason for the dangerous product recall. The plastic buckles that secure the safety straps on the pouch can break or crack, causing the baby to fall and get hurt. They stated that they had received 87 reports of the buckle failure before issuing the recall alert to the public. In fact, there were also at least two events where the child fell from the carrier and at least one where the injured child had to receive emergency medical treatment. Critics of the current hazardous product recall system say that action is only undertaken after considerable numbers of the products have been placed on the market and broken or otherwise malfunctioned. The companies leave it up to consumers to levy complaints against the merchandise’s lack of safety or outright dangers. Citizens are left to fight, to prove that a product broke and injured someone, and that the company should take responsibility for it. Some activists have pointed out that the consumer is left at risk until the Consumer Product Safety Commission or the company issue warnings or a proper recall of the item. Often, a recall is only issued once a victim has already suffered a personal injury or wrongful death. Even then, a recall can get held up with administrative red tape that continues to leave the public in danger. Independent safety specialists warn that product safety must become a more prominent issue well before someone gets hurt in an accident. Details about the current baby hip carrier recall can be found here.
Photo by Thomas Nugent [CC-BY-SA-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons