Groups mark new era in recall effectiveness
June 28, 2010
Washington, D.C.— As of today, many durable infant and toddler products, including cribs, playyards, strollers and high chairs are required to contain a product registration card allowing consumers to easily register their product with the manufacturer. This will give manufacturers crucial information necessary to directly contact consumers in the event of a recall or other product safety issue.
The requirements for the product registration cards and an online registration program are contained in the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (CPSIA). The section of the bill is called the Danny Keysar Child Safety Notification Act. Danny, whose parents founded Kids In Danger, died in 1998 when the portable crib he slept in at child care collapsed, strangling him. The crib had been recalled five years earlier, but no one at the child care, including the mom who donated the crib, had heard of the recall.
In Congressional testimony in 2004, Danny’s mother, Linda Ginzel, testified, “after Danny died, many people asked why the original owner hadn’t sent in the registration card. If she had done so, they reasoned, the company would have been able to notify her. The only problem is that there was no registration card included with this product. Why aren’t manufacturers required to include registration cards, especially for durable children’s products like cribs? If they had done so, my son would be alive today.”
Eighteen types of durable infant and toddler products are required to have product registration cards. Starting now, full-size cribs and non-full-size cribs; toddler beds; high chairs, booster chairs, and hook-on chairs; bath seats; gates and other enclosures for confining a child; play yards; stationary activity centers; infant carriers; strollers; walkers; swings; and bassinets and cradles must include the card. In six months, the compliance date for the six products the final rule added to the listed products — children’s folding chairs, changing tables, infant bouncers, infant bath tubs, bed rails and infant slings — will begin.
“While it will take time for the product registration cards to be present in every new product as required by the law, parents can start now to register their products online with manufacturers,” stated Rachel Weintraub, Director of Product Safety & Senior Counsel at Consumer Federation of America. “The effective date of the legislation is for products manufactured after today, leaving a short window while current inventory is still sold. But many major manufacturers have already started taking registration online.”
“Registration cards for child safety seats have been required by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for many years,” stated Don Mays, Senior Director Product Safety & Technical Policy at Consumers Union. “Because of this requirement, the recall response rate for child safety seats is far greater than for all other durable infant and toddler products.”
“Parents and caregivers should make certain to return these cards. It is often the only way you will hear of a recall and know that your product is affected,” says Liz Hitchcock, Public Health Advocate at US PIRG. “The regulations prohibit the information from being used for any purpose other than contacting consumers in the event of a recall. It is strictly for safety notifications. The registration can also be completed online.”
“Most recalled products remain in consumers’ homes and in use for too long after the recall because consumers never heard about the recall,” said Nancy Cowles, Executive Director, Kids In Danger. “This new measure will allow consumers who purchased or own the product to get accurate news of a recall quickly, along with the information they need to comply with the recall.”
Consumer groups will be monitoring the implementation of this vital section of the CPSIA. If consumers have problems with registering their products, they should contact the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) or any of the groups listed.
Consumer Federation of America
Kids In Danger
National Research Center for Women & Families
Rachel Weintraub, CFA (202) 387-6121
Nancy Cowles, KID (312) 595-0649
Donald Mays, CU (914) 378-2346
Elizabeth Hitchcock, U.S. PIRG (202) 546-9707
Diana Zuckerman, NRC, (202) 223-4000