Despite Injuring About 100 People, Stroller is Not Recalled by the Consumer Product Safety Commission
According to a recent report from NPR, BOB jogging stroller company, Britax avoided a safety recall despite the fact that almost 100 adults and children suffered injuries from its products during the last five years. How did Britax avoid a recall?
Initially, when the stroller product injury reports arose, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) had concerns about the stroller’s front wheel. Since it is a jogging stroller, a problem with the single front wheel of the three-wheeled stroller could mean that the wheel is at risk of falling off, and that both children in the stroller and parents running with it could suffer injuries. According to the NPR report, the CPSC “decided that Britax should recall the stroller, [and] that it wasn’t safe.” The CPSC “even sued to try and force the company to recall the stroller.” However, the report indicates that a change in leadership at the CPSC resulted in the agency moving away from the Britax stroller and its risks.
Rather than moving forward with a recall, the CPSC took a “cooperative approach, settling more with what Britax sought in the end as a resolution.” Instead of a recall, Britax launched an awareness campaign that addressed the potential risks associated with the stroller, and parents were offered discounts and new parts in certain situations. The NPR report reminds consumers that not all defective products are subject to recall, and that parents should be aware of products like the Britax stroller that could cause serious injuries.
Keeping Kids Safe Around Defective Products
Parents play an important role in preventing child injuries and avoiding the use of products with harmful defects. In addition to recognizing that children’s products may pose risks even when they have not been recalled, parents should know what to do when a child suffers an injury, and how to recognize a potentially hazardous product. A report from Today recommends that parents pay attention to the following tips:
- Always report any injuries that your child sustains to the company, no matter how minor they might be, because reporting injuries can help force a company to issue a recall of a dangerous or defective product;
- Recognize that a product’s length of time on the market is no measure of its safety given that a product can be defective even if it has been on the market for a long time;
- Know which kinds of consumer products are more likely to pose risks, such as batteries and other small objects that can pose choking hazards;
- Know that older toys may not have been subject to stringent safety standards and may pose significant risks to children;
- Learn more about the American Society for Testing and Materials; recognize that products evaluated by the Society tend to be subject to more rigorous safety standards than other products; and
- Test plastic toys before you give them to a child, understanding that any toys that easily break under pressure should not be in the hands of a toddler or younger child.
If you do learn that one of your child’s products has been subject to a recall, you should stop using it immediately and should follow the instructions on the recall notice. Depending upon the nature of the defect, you may be able to return the product for a refund, or the manufacturer may be able to provide you with a repair kit. If your child recently suffered an injury because of a defective children’s product, you should learn more about your options from a product liability lawyer.