Could the Use of Social Media Save More Children’s Lives?

Each year in the United States, hundreds of defective children’s toys, car seats, cribs, clothing and furniture are recalled. Why do most of these unsafe products remain in consumer’s homes after they have been recalled?

Child safety advocate group, Kids in Danger (KID), recently issued a report after analyzing the effectiveness of children’s product recalls in 2013. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) oversees these recalls, as well as the manufacturers of the defective products in an effort to keep us safe.

According to CPSC data, the number of recalls increased by 18 percent, but more importantly, the number of deaths related to these recalls increased by 22 percent.  Last year alone, there were more than 11 million units of children’s products recalled half of which were clothing and nursery products.

From the findings reported by KID, only 10 percent of recalled children’s products were fixed or returned to the store. The other 90 percent of the recalled products remain in family homes, putting young children in significant danger. It is not that the parents are irresponsible, but are simply unaware.

In the majority of homes today, people use computers for various reasons. Some play games, some search for recipes, share photos on social media, etc.  Perhaps they would see updates regarding recalled products as they scroll through their emails.

Social media reaches millions of people so quickly. If the CPSC and product manufacturers would work together, many injuries and/or deaths would be prevented.

In 2013, there were 63 companies that were active on Facebook and Twitter that issued recalls of children’s products. Of these 63 manufacturers, only nine of them even mentioned the recall on Facebook. There were only 8 Twitter mentions.

As we recently reported to you, Graco recalled nearly four million car seats (11 models) manufactured from 2009 to 2013. The belt buckles were defective, becoming stuck, making it very difficult to quickly remove a child. After an infant in a Graco Nautilus car seat was killed in a fiery crash due to the defective buckle, more than 6,000 other complaints related to this problem have been reported. If this recall or warning would have been issued through social media outlets, it could have reached countless numbers of parents nationwide.

Hopefully, it won’t be long before the CPSC improves the way in which consumers receive recalled information. For more information, contact one of our Gacovino Lake attorneys at 1-800-246-HURT (4878).

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