This week, McDonald’s issued a mass recall of its Step It! fitness trackers and pulled the products from all U.S. and Canada stores. The recall affects 29 million Step It! products, which were given away in children’s meals. McDonald’s announced the recall after more than 70 reports of skin irritations and blisters as a result of children wearing the device. This recall is just one of many in 2016 than directly impact the safety and wellbeing of children.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission plays a key role in ensuring that dangerous products on the market, like the Step It fitness tracker, are discovered and recalled to prevent the injury and death of consumers.
Today, we look at a few of the CSPC’s biggest child safety recalls in 2016 so far that all parents should be aware of.
The so-called “hoverboard” toy was among the hottest gifts of the 2015 holiday season, prompting parents all around the nation to buy one for their child. However, many hoverboard manufacturers have come under fire in recent months after the discovery that hoverboards — particularly the low-end models — can pose major safety risks to kids.
The issue with hoverboards is their lithium-ion batteries, which are volatile and prone to overheating and combustion. When the hoverboard is bumped up and dropped, as many children’s toys are, the battery can catch fire. Hoverboard fires have also occurred after the device is left to charge for too long, resulting in some families losing their home to tragic housefires.
So it is unsurprising that the CPSC intervened in July, recalling over 500,000 hoverboards from major manufacturers and importers, including Razor, Swagway, and Hoverboard LLC.
Tommee Tippee Sippee Spill-Proof Cups Recall
Mayborn USA issued a recall for its Tommee Tippee Sippee Spill-Proof Cups for young children ages four to 12 months due to risk of mold exposure. The recall was announced after there were more than 3,000 reports of mold growing in the cup valve of the Tommee Tippee Sippee Spill-Proof Cups. This recall impacts 3.1 million cups sold in the United States.
Of these reports, 68 involved children experienced diarrhea, vomiting, and other gastrointestinal symptoms and infections. Mold exposure is especially hazardous for children, because they have underdeveloped immune systems.
Britax B-Safe 35 and B-Safe 35 Elite Car Seat Recall
A recall was announced in January for certain models of Britax B-Safe 35 and B-Safe 35 Elite infant car seats, impacting 71,000 units total. The handle of the car seat, using to carry the child in the car seat safely, was found to crack and break overtime, leading to an unexpected fall to the ground.
Britax received 74 reports of handles cracking and breaking while in use, and one report of an infant who was hurt when the carrier fell to the ground. Although this handle defect does not impact the safe use of the seat in a car, it is a hazard when the child is being carried to and from the car.
IKEA Chest and Dresser Recall
Furniture giant IKEA was the subject of a mass recall in June after being linked to six fatal furniture tipping accidents involving toddlers. IKEA recalled 29 million MALM chests and drawers due to their tip-over hazard. Although IKEA urges its customers to anchor their chests and drawers to the wall, many consumers do not realize how important it is to secure their furniture. This can result in tragic accidents.
Sadly, furniture tipping accidents are common, and there are over 38,000 injures associated with them annually. As a result, the CPSC created a voluntary safety standard agreed upon by many in the furniture industry, that requires furniture to be able to remain upright even when the drawer is open and up to 50 pounds of weight is applied to it. It is possible that IKEA was not in compliance with this standard, making their chests and dressers a hazard for children.
Not all product defects are as dangerous as the ones described in the above child safety recalls, but consumers are still entitled to protection after purchasing substandard quality products. If you have purchased a defective major appliance or new and certified pre-owned vehicle, you may have grounds for a breach-of-warranty lawsuit. Read more to learn about the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act and how our consumer protection attorneys may be able to help you today.