Being a new parent is an exciting experience, but it is also one that raises a lot of questions and concerns about using products that protect your new family member. Unfortunately, baby products — along with products adults use, like air bags, medication, and medical devices — are all too often recalled due to safety issues. One of the most alarming facts surrounding defective products is that recalls often occur after several people already have been injured or killed as a result of using those products.
Discovering that your infant has been seriously injured from a product that should have been safe is a traumatic experience, but a qualified product liability lawyer may be able to help protect your rights and recover damages going forward. Read on to learn more about five of the most dangerous baby products recalled in recent years, and where you can learn more about products that might pose a safety risk.
1. Children’s Bath Products
Did you know that some of the most dangerous baby products are those you use at bath time? That’s true even if your products are marked “gentle” or “pure.” Some of our favorite bubble baths, shampoos, and soaps recently have been linked to a increased risk for cancer. A report from the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics identified that some of these items contained formaldehyde, a known human carcinogen, including the Johnson & Johnson baby shampoo that seems to be in every parent’s tub. In 2011, the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics purchased and reviewed labels of the popular baby shampoo from 13 countries, and found quaternium-15, a chemical preservative that kills bacteria by releasing formaldehyde, in those sold in the United States.
Baby powder also has been linked to cancer because of its use of talc, which contains asbestos in its natural form. Johnson & Johnson recently was ordered to pay $72 million to the family of a Missouri woman who died from ovarian cancer after using their baby powder and shower products daily.
You can run a search on the Environmental Working Group website to learn more about dangerous cosmetic products and how to avoid them.
2. Bumbo Baby Seat
When you’re not holding your child personally, you’re counting on any product designed to take over that responsibility to do it safely and comprehensively. If this falls short, your child could sustain serious injuries.
A Bumbo baby seat recall in 2012 affected 4 million different devices after reports shared a fall risk that left at least 50 children suffering head injuries. Some of the most serious injuries included skull fractures, while others reported bumps and bruises. Earlier, in 2007, 1 million Bumbo seats were voluntarily recalled to provide additional warnings against use on raised surfaces.
3. Tommee Sippy Cups
In May 2016, mold was discovered in the valve of five types of Tommee Tippee Sippee spill-proof cups when they remain wet or are infrequently cleaned, exposing any children to gastrointestinal problems and infections in those with compromised immune systems. More than 3 million of these cups were recalled in the U.S. and another 227,000 in Canada.
The cups were designed for use with babies up to 1 year old, exposing a vulnerable population to serious risks. More than 3,000 complaints were received from the company directly regarding mold problems.
4. Nap Nanny Recliner
Six deaths were tied to the defective product known as the Nap Nanny recliner between 2010 and 2014, where babies either suffocated on the inside of the product or got trapped between the product and crib bumpers after falling. Individual consumers brought claims against the manufacturer, but the manufacturer declined to recall this product.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission brought its own lawsuit when nearly 100 complaints had already been filed and five infants had died — those deaths occurred in a Nap Nanny recliner placed in a crib with a crib bumper where the caregiver thought the child would be safe. It’s important to remember that the safest place for baby is in a bare crib on her back, without cushions, pillows, quilts, or comforters.
When the suit was settled, now-defunct manufacturer Baby Matters recalled 165,000 Nap Nanny products.
5. Hackable Baby Monitors
Anything used to help keep an eye on your baby may need some security protocols, too.
One product by TRENDnet has been reported as being secure for parents who wanted to be able to keep an eye on their children from a separate room. These devices, however, were easily hacked by outsiders. The manufacturer was accused of failing to encrypt the data, thus making it dangerous for anyone using the product as hackers could easily intercept the feed and view inside the homes of anyone using the product. In that case, the FTC pursued penalties against the manufacturer as a result of promoting their product improperly.
Aside from security issues, thousands of video baby monitors from another company sold in the U.S. and Canada have been recalled as a result of these devices representing a serious burn risk. The batteries in Lorex baby monitors have been shown to overheat and expand, although no injuries have bene reported.
Get Help if Exposed to a Dangerous Baby Product
No parent should ever have to go through discovering that a product that should have been properly designed and tested is dangerous. Realizing that your child has sustained injuries is an overwhelming experience and one that could be helped by speaking directly with an experienced product liability attorney.
If you believe that a product you have used with your child led to serious injuries, you need to contact the Consumer Product Safety Commission as soon as possible regarding your concerns by filing a dangerous product report. You may also need to consult with a local product liability lawyer about getting the compensation you deserve. At Safe Birth Project, we may be able to recommend one in your area.
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