New recalls are issued almost everyday.
From contaminated food to unsafe baby cribs, products get recalled because they pose a hazard to our families.
Unfortunately, many recalled products never actually get removed from the homes of the families that have them. This means that kids can remain at risk from known hazards, which could be eliminated by avoiding, replacing, or fixing the product.
For example, a study in the Journal of Food Protection found that "routine recall notifications failed to reach a large portion of the population and were not well understood."
To be effective, recalls have to be:
- received by the people who have the recalled product
- understood, especially if the recall requires a response
- motivational, so that people check if they have the recalled product and then take the necessary action to eliminate or reduce the hazard triggered by the recall
What can you do to keep your kids safe from recalled products?
The most important thing is make sure that you are aware of recalls when they occur. In addition to watching for recall alerts, you can sign up for recall email alerts from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, Food & Drug Administration, and other agencies that issue recalls. You can even follow them on Twitter or Facebook to quickly learn about recalls:
Also be sure to register all of the products you buy, especially things like your car seat, so you can be sure you are notified if there is a recall.
Registering your baby's car seat can be as easy as sending in the postage-paid, self-addressed, registration card that came with your car seat.
Also be sure to search for recalls any time you buy something used or get a hand-me-down gift from a friend or family member.
Patrick ME. Effectiveness of recall notification: community response to a nationwide recall of hot dogs and deli meats. J Food Prot. 01-OCT-2007; 70(10): 2373-6.
CPSC. Recall Effectiveness Research: A Review And Summary Of The Literature On Consumer Motivation And Behavior. July 2003.