Is Your Child in Danger? Study Reveals Only 10% of Recalled Products Are Returned
Why don't parents return recalled products?
When Bumbo Seats were recalled in 2012, I refused to take ours in. Our daughter was too big for the seat by then. Also, after reading the reason that the seats were recalled (babies sitting in them on raised surfaces, falling out and hitting their heads), I rationalized that we wouldn’t be using them that way with any future babies. But when our son was born, I told my husband, the safety king, about the recall and he balked. “Get rid of that thing,” he said. “We can get something else.” Reluctantly, I exchanged the Bumbo for the Prince Lionheart bebePOD.
I loved our Bumbo and I miss it. Part of me felt like a bad mother for clinging to it. But another part of me felt like if I used it responsibly, I wouldn’t have any problems. In this game of parenthood, baby products aren’t just products, they often become tools for maintaining sanity. I love my Fisher Price Rock n’ Play and will tell anyone who will listen about how it saved my sanity on those long nights with a newborn. Consequently, I know many parents who still hold fast to their beloved baby products despite recalls. Many of my friends still use their Bumbos and my sister went on Craigslist to buy a walker for her baby, despite numerous recalls and warnings about the product. A recent study issued by a children’s advocacy group based out of Chicago reports that only “10 percent of recalled products were returned, replaced or repaired, meaning that many dangerous products remained in households.”
The group blames the lack of compliance with recalls on poor communication with consumers and the slow response time of companies and regulators. But I think there is more at play here. In 2013, when the popular baby product the Nap Nanny was recalled, many consumers took to social media in support of the product. In response to the recall, parents, who knew full-well the dangers of the product, chose to keep it in their home.
As parents we are constantly walking the fine line between risk and reward with our child. So, how do we navigate between using a beloved product responsibly and safety? According to a report from the Consumer Federation of America, unintentional injuries are the leading cause of death for children ages 1-14. With a statistic like that it seems foolish to cling to a product for convenience. And while I’m glad we got rid of it, part of me really misses that Bumbo.
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