One of the big news stories during the summer of 2007 was Mattel’s recall of nearly one million toys made in China because of lead paint. Other recalls followed almost immediately. These numbers pale in comparison to yesterday’s recall announced by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) of TEN million Fisher-Price children’s products due to dangerous conditions posing choking and other hazards.
Fourteen models of the Fisher-Price Trikes and Tough Trikes toddler tricycles can cause serious injury, including genital bleeding when a child sits, strikes or falls on a pretend plastic ignition key that protrudes in front of the toddler tricycle seat. CPSC and Fisher-Price know of 10 injuries, including six girls between the ages of 2 and 3 who needed medical attention after falling against the pretend key. There are seven models of infant activity centers with inflatable balls in which the valve from the balls comes off. 14 valves are known by the CPSC to have been found in childrens mouths.
There were three reports of a child beginning to choke on the valve. In total, the CPSC and Fisher-Price have 46 reports of the valves coming off. Children can fall on or against pegs on the back legs of nearly 950,000 Fisher-Price high chairs. The CPSC and Fisher-Price know of seven children who fell on or against these legs and needed stitches and one who had a tooth injury. And finally, the wheels can come off of two cars in the Fisher-Price Little People Wheelies Stand n Play Rampway, posing a choking hazard to young children.
The CPSC and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today warned consumers to stop using infant sleep positioners. Over the past 13 years, CPSC and the FDA have received 12 reports of infants between the ages of 1 month and 4 four months who died when they suffocated in sleep positioners or became trapped and suffocated between a sleep positioner and the side of a crib or bassinet. In addition to the reported deaths, CPSC has received dozens of reports of infants who were placed on their backs or sides in sleep positioners, only to be found later in potentially hazardous positions within or next to the sleep positioners.
The CPSC and FDA were severely critical of unsubstantiated claims made by the manufacturers sleep positioners typically claim to help keep infants on their backs and reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS); aid in food digestion to ease colic or the symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD); and prevent flat head syndrome (plagiocephaly). The defective protruding parts remind me ofthe report I wrote in Driver’s Education based upon Ralph Naders watershed book, Unsafe at Any Speed.
I was enthralled by the consumer safety aspect of how changes, some significant and some not, in a vehicles design could have such great benefit in reducing injuries and deaths in motor vehicle accidents. One common-sense change was to make the handles on what were then called glove compartments (now glove-boxes) flush with the compartments cover rather than protruding from it. The problem with a protrusion on the cover was that if the force of a collision caused the front seat passenger to be thrown forward with their head striking the cover, the passengers face and perhaps eye could strike the protrusion. Some manufacturers apparently never learn.
The lawyers at Levine & Slavit have decades of experience handling personal injury claims involving dangerous and defective products . If you or someone close to you has been injured by a product that was not properly manufactured, designed or labeled, contact the offices of Levine & Slavit in New York or Long Island for their help. We have offices in Manhattan and Long Island, handling cases in New York City, Brooklyn, the Bronx, Queens and surrounding areas including Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester Counties. For 50 years spanning 3 generations, we have obtained results for satisfied clients. To learn more, watch our videos.