Recent recall notices have blared across television sets and websites. Stores such as Wal-Mart, Target, and Toys R Us prominently display recall notices to be sure no consumer has missed an important announcement. When a product is recalled, there is often a rush to return items to stores or condemn the manufacturer, but are all recalled products actually dangerous?
Most car owners, provided they’ve purchased a new car, have received recall notices in the mail at one time or another. Perhaps the windshield wiper switch was faulty or a latch was poorly designed. Recalls are actually more common than we realize on electronics and other consumer goods. If you fail to send in the warranty information (and really, who does?) then you simply won’t be alerted to any small problems.
Sometimes, however, you don’t need a letter to find out about a recall. Almost a decade ago, Firestone Tires and Ford underwent a huge fiasco with blowouts and resulting rollover accidents in SUVs. Ultimately, Ford and Firestone replaced all of the potentially defective tires for customers as the circumstances were so substantial.
Food recalls are also widely known. E Coli, Mad Cow Disease and other bacteria contamination has caused wide spread recalls. At the moment Totino’s Pizzas have been recalled as the pepperoni used since July might contain E Coli. In recent history, cheeses and vegetables have had similar effects. Certain brands of dog and cat food were included in another huge recall this year as they were found to be causing injury and death to pets.
Child Product Recalls
The area that receives the most recalls with the greatest amount of attention, if store signage and news coverage are to be believed, are child related products. Children (and pets, for that matter) rely on adults to make the right choices and keep them safe. So when a product we believe is sage turns out to be defective, there is a huge uproar – our innocent children might have been injured!
Recent recalls include cribs, certain car seats, specialized baby chairs and of course, the infamous toys. But the question that many are starting to ask is not how dangerous these recalled products might be, but if they are in fact dangerous at all.
Exploding tires and diseased food are definitely dangerous. Cribs with unstable bars and toys with lead paint are also dangerous to children. But should products be termed as dangerous when they are actually used incorrectly?
The most recent two examples of potentially non threatening recalled items are Simplicity Cribs and Bumbo Seats. Simplicity manufactures cribs that some parents assembled incorrectly. They put one side on upside down which proved to be fatal to some babies. The cribs were recalled, but the solution to the problem was a replacement part that prevents parents from assembling the crib incorrectly – not a new crib.
Bumbo Seats are even less dangerous, at least according to some. They are designed to help babies sit upright before they can do so on their own. They are labeled to be used under adult supervision and to never be used on elevated surfaces. But when some parents placed the seat on the counter and walked away, their baby fell and was hurt. The seats were then recalled.
It is always terrible when babies are injured, so the company that sells the Bumbo seats is participating in the voluntary recall. They are offering concerned parents a solution to the problem – a new label reminding them again to not use the seat on elevated surfaces or without constant supervision.