Friday, April 26, 2013

On recalls and common sense

I saw a tweet from @FreeRangeKids this morning:

The CPSC recalled these dangerous dolls. But wait! "Zero injuries reported"? So what ISN'T dangerous?
If you follow that link, it takes you to the CPSC recall notice for Land of Nod dolls. Apparently there have been reports of 1 doll hand detaching and 2 loosening. No injuries. So all Land of Nod dolls need to be recalled, deemed unsafe for any child. It's illegal to sell them or resell them.

Now, I subscribe to the recall emails from CPSC, NHTSA, and FDA. Sometimes there is a good reason for a recall. Sometimes a product actually is causing injuries or death. Some things really are unsafe. But so many are nuisance recalls. No product is ever safe. Someone, somewhere, will find a way to misuse a product and we all have to pay that price by not having the privilege of using it.

A doll hand can detach. Ok. Back when I was growing up, Dr. Mom got out her sewing kit and reattached the severed limb. Someone commented in response to the original tweet that  "0-3 year olds are going to gnaw those hands right off."

Well, most 3 year olds I know don't gnaw their toys. They also usually know not to put everything they see in their mouths. That is a behavior of babies. And babies are supposed to be watched with any toy.  So how is proper monitoring of a child the toy company's responsibility? Parents are supposed to decide what toys are appropriate for their children.

Does your child chew on things? Then maybe this isn't the right toy for your child. My kids don't, though. And maybe they'd like these dolls (or whatever the particular recalled toy of the day is). Why are we all being punished?

Note: You can sign up for email updates of consumer product recalls with the Consumer Product Safety Commission here, for car-related recalls with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration here, and food and drug recalls from the Food and Drug Administration here.

Read the recalls for yourself. For true safety issues, you'll have the information right away. And for all other recalls, you can decide for yourself if it's worth returning a product (although you still won't be able to resell it if you keep it).

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