Fisher-Price recently recalled several models of infant cradle swings due to a defect that could lead to the seat falling unexpectedly from the swing base and causing personal injury. Although no injuries have been reported, the company—in coordination with the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)—is not taking any chances and has issued a recall for approximately 34,000 units sold from November 2015 to March 2016.
If you believe you might have one of these products, check the CPSC website for specific product details as well as instructions on how to contact Mattel (Fisher-Price’s parent company) for information on replacing the product.
Children Avoiding Personal Injury
It doesn’t take much for an unsafe product to pose a risk to the user. When the user is an infant or toddler, even the smallest defect or design flaw can make a product potentially hazardous. That’s why it shouldn’t come as a surprise that children’s products are the single most recalled product category.
In most years, 30 to 40 percent of all product recalls involve children’s products and toys. According to a 2010 list of the largest product recalls in US history, six of them were child-safety related, including a sling, a high chair, a crib, two toys, and a type of window blind that had been blamed for numerous injuries and at least three deaths. Children aren’t able to protect themselves from dangerous products, so it falls to others to do it for them.
Ounce of Prevention
Recalls similar to the Fisher-Price swing have been issued in the past. Since 2011, at least two other infant swings have been pulled for various hazards or design flaws; one of which caused several minor injuries. In fact, the CPSC issued new standards for swing safety in 2013 to tighten up some long-standing gaps. These products don’t stand out as particularly dangerous or poorly designed since other categories of product, such as strollers and car seats, have had similar numbers of recalls in recent years.
Fisher-Price also can’t be singled out as worse than other manufacturers when it comes to recall frequency or size. Carter’s, Britax, Graco, IKEA, and other well-known brands have conducted recalls within the last few years. It’s a credit to the industry that in most cases these recalls have been pre-emptive, taking place quickly when an injury risk is discovered. In many cases, no injuries were reported before the recall. Most manufacturers of products for children recognize that harming their customers is an extremely poor business strategy, and they take their safety responsibilities seriously.
On the Consumer’s Side
Product defects can lead to serious problems for both consumers and the companies involved, even when a recall takes place. When a consumer is harmed by a product, it’s important for the product’s manufacturer to do the right thing and compensate the consumer for any damage that results. It’s also important for the manufacturer to step up and do the right thing. When a defective product is left on the market, it not only exposes others to risk, but it signals to other producers that product safety standards can be lowered or ignored, because the marketplace may not hold them accountable.
That’s why it’s important to seek experienced legal advice when you’ve been affected by a defective product. Legal action can not only help you personally, it can also lead to improvements that help many others. At Wilson Kehoe Winingham, we understand the extent to which a single product liability lawsuit can affect many others.
Give us a call or text us at 317-920-6400 to discuss your case, free of charge. You can also arrange for a free consultation by filling out our online contact form. We take your safety seriously.