One of the most common causes of product liability claims in the United States is defective children’s products. Any type of children’s product can be defective, including toys, bedding, car seats, and food. In 2013, approximately 74,900 children under the age of five were taken to the emergency room as a result of nursery related injuries. Of these injuries, 66% were associated with high chairs, cribs, mattresses, strollers, infant carriers, or car seats. When a product is considered defective, it is generally classified into one of three defective product categories – poor design, faulty construction, or improper labeling.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission
Founded in 1972 by Congress, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) serves to “protect the public against unreasonable risks of injuries and deaths associated with consumer products.” The agency regulates safety guidelines, recalls unsafe products, conducts research, and works toward decreasing the chance of injuries and fatalities to consumers. CPSC is a helpful resource for parents of injured children who believe a defective product is responsible for their child’s injury.
Car seats and strollers are two of the most commonly recalled children’s products. The most common injuries caused by defective car seats and strollers are generally due to:
- Faulty stroller brakes causing uncontrollable and unexpected rolling
- Unsafe center of gravity causing stroller rollovers
- Faulty locking mechanisms causing strollers to fold while children are still inside
- Inadequate restraints on strollers and car seats causing children to fall out
In late 2014, 11 models of strollers were voluntarily recalled by manufacturing giant, Graco, because of severe finger injuries, including amputation. Retailers such as Target, Walmart, Amazon, and Toys R Us had been selling these products since 2000.
Thousands of infants are injured or die every year due to hazardous crib design. In 2011, CPSC reported that approximately 11 million cribs, bassinets, and play yards had been recalled since 2007. Stricter regulations took effect following the release of this information. For starters, federal safety standards now require more intensive safety testing. All drop-side cribs have been declared unsafe, and crib hardware regulations have tightened. CPSC, along with child safety experts, recommends that consumers follow certain safety tips at home:
- Pillows and thick quilts should never be included in an infant’s sleeping environment, as they could potentially suffocate the baby.
- Older model used cribs should never be used, as their safety guidelines are outdated and there is high potential for injury or death.
- Gaps between the mattress and crib should be less than two fingers width.
- Be sure the crib’s mattress is firm and tight to avoid suffocation.
- Always keep cribs away from windows and window dressing cords to avoid strangulation.
Other Types of Children’s Product Defects
Defective strollers, car seats, and cribs account for only a fraction of potentially dangerous products. Other situations to be aware of include:
- Toys made of toxic materials, or with sharp edges.
- Toys that are small enough to be a choking hazard
- Flammable children’s clothing, particularly sleepwear
- Products posing mechanical dangers, especially electrical fire hazards
- Children’s over the counter and prescription medications
Altman & Altman, LLP – Helping Product Liability Victims for Nearly 50 Years
If your child has been harmed by a defective product, it is your right to seek legal compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other associate damages. At Altman & Altman, LLP, our knowledgeable, compassionate attorneys will examine every detail of your situation to determine the best legal strategy. We will fight to get you the compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation.