Most parents adore their children more than anything else in the world, and this means that there's nothing they wouldn't do to keep their child safe. Unfortunately, negligent product developers can make this a much more difficult prospect than most parents anticipate. It seems as if product recalls are constantly popping up in the news, and unfortunately, many of these recalls are related to infant equipment. This makes it essential for the parents of infants to know how to handle potentially dangerous products.
Recalls and Infant Injuries
The statistics and facts related to infant-related product recalls are staggering. These recalls are constantly in the news. In just the last two weeks of September 2013, for instance, Toys-R-Us had to recall a child traveling trunk, Land of Nod had to recall a child's bed frame and The Children's Place had to recall footed pajamas. These recalls were due to a laceration hazard, an entrapment hazard and a fire hazard, respectively.
Unfortunately, these aren't isolated incidents. In 2011, for instance, there was a 14 percent increase in recalled products from the same time in 2010. Even more disheartening is the fact that certain baby equipment, which is meant to keep children safe, can actually endanger their lives. There are around 10,000 emergency room visits yearly, and 100 infant deaths, related to crib malfunctions. Just as disheartening, however, is the fact that four percent of thrift stores in America sell car seats that have been recalled.
Legal Aspects to Faulty Baby Equipment
While there isn't any national law regarding product liability, most states fall in line with holding negligent parties accountable. Engaging in activities that put a person or their child in danger, such as selling faulty products, can make a company liable for damages arising from the product's malfunction. This means that anyone from the manufacturer of certain components to the seller of the item can face legal liability if a baby is injured due to a faulty product.
It should also be noted, however, that not all penalties for putting faulty baby equipment on the market are civil in nature. If it can be proven that an individual knew of the potential dangers of a product and put it on the market anyway, they could actually face criminal charges. As with all legal issues, however, these laws will vary by state.
While there is no foolproof method to ensure that certain infant equipment is safe, there are ways to maximize the potential for safety when making purchases. One of the best things that a person can do is avoid shopping in thrift shops for certain infant products. If this isn't a possibility, however, every parent should look up the product name afterward to ensure that it hasn't been recalled. Recall information can be found on a government website.
Additionally, it's important to seek out trusted brands when buying baby products. If a parent is looking at a Bright Starts Ingenuity swing set and a generic form of the same product, for instance, it's better to go with the Bright Starts Ingenuity. This is solely based on the fact that the company has earned an amazing reputation for safe and quality products, such as a baby play yard, play mats and gyms, and much more. While the generic product may end up being absolutely safe, this isn't a chance that most parents want to take.
Finally, in the event that a product does slip through the cracks and a baby ends up injured, it's important to take them to the emergency room right away. Babies are much tougher than they appear, and a child could actually sustain a serious injury without it even being initially obvious. Afterward, the parent should contact a personal injury attorney in order to be compensated for medical expenses and other losses. Since a serious injury could result in years of medical care, this is an essential step in the recovery process.
Taking care of a baby is a full-time job, and unfortunately, this job can become especially difficult when having to worry about whether a product is safe for a child or not. This is why parents should be vigilant about ensuring that their child is safe and continuously check on product recall sites. While most babies won't be injured due to faulty products, this is of little consolation for the parents of those who are.