Every Mom and Dad out there will cross the path of a recall at one time or another. It seems like they always come too late and we are left worrying if that baby food we gave our little one yesterday is going to land them in the emergency room. From foreign objects in their food to baby gear that fails and injures children, baby recalls are not to be taken lightly.
Parents are encouraged to stay up to date on recalls, but the likelihood of doing such isn’t high for most folks. Why? First and foremost, it’s not readily available information. For example, when we buy a car, we are sent recalls in the mail any time a defect presents on our make and model year. When it comes to baby supplies and everyday items, like pureed foods, no one is going to hunt us down and let us know when a recall has arisen.
Instead, we must seek out this information, and do so on a regular basis. No one else is responsible for the health and wellbeing of our children. Parents can sign up for alerts at websites like Safekids.org, which aims to prevent injury by emailing enrolled parents in their database as soon as a child-related recall presents itself.
When moms and dads are expecting a bundle of joy, it can be difficult to remember to register for every single product purchased. But this step in the process is so very important. Likewise, when friends and relatives buy us gifts for baby showers, it’s vital that we take the time to sit down and register each product.
Most of the time, this involves nothing more than filling out a simple card and mailing it in or submitting our contact information and the product’s model number online. This will ensure that we are notified of recalls matching the products we own.
15Shards Of Glass In Baby’s Fruit
This recall made headlines in 1986 when shards of glass were discovered in Gerber baby food products. Parents everywhere were horrified when reports started rolling in that moms and dads were discovering glass bits in the food they were feeding to their infants, and rightfully so! Imagine the kind of damage a few shards of glass could do to the inside of a baby’s bowels or esophagus. If aspirated, the windpipe could even be pierced.
Phone calls poured into local legislators’ offices that week in Maryland after the first report of the contaminated food. The glass shards were found in baby food products across thirty different states. There was hefty suspicious by authority figures that a third party was to blame for the contaminated products.
Testing was performed on many of the jars parents submitted. Of 137 open jars of baby food, 21 were found to have contained glass. Still, officials referred to the glass specks are “harmless”. It wasn’t so harmless to the New York mother Minerva Figueroa who cut his tongue on the glass while eating bananas and tapioca.
14Small Pacifiers Meant For Newborns And Preemies Being Used By Bigger Babies
Over the course of the last year, popular baby manufacturer MAM has come under hot water with customers who are complaining their infant pacifiers are far from safe. These pacifiers are a bit tinier and lighter. So, it’s easier for less mature or younger babies to hold and keep suction of in their mouths.
Unfortunately, the fact that it was the youngest babies who were most often using this brand of pacifier also made it even more dangerous, because they are the most likely to suffer as a result of choking hazards, and that’s just what this binky became.
Katie McFadden of Sanford, North Carolina can speak to the horror she faced with this company when her two-month old son, Ryder, nearly ingested the rubber nipple portion of the pacifier that has broken off in his mouth. The worried mother was able to remove the pacifier piece, but not without doing the Heimlich maneuver on her young son.
MAM was apologetic and called the incident “rare”. They sent Katie a new pack of pacifiers to try out, and just two months later, the same thing happened again. Despite numerous complaints from other parents who have experienced the same issues, MAM has shown no interest in issuing a recall, which many parents are boycotting the brand over.
13Bacteria In The Baby Wipes Of Nutek Disposables Inc.
Back in 2014, Nutek Disposables Inc. was forced to recall large batches of their baby wipes sold in several stores. Parents were opening these wipes to discover discolored baby wipes that had a foul odor. Upon the discovery, they started reporting their complaints to the manufacturing company.
Upon the urgency of several customers, Nutek decided to test the wipes and found they were contaminated with a bacterium known as Burkholderia cepacia. While this bacterium isn’t known to cause significant health problems to most people, it is particularly dangerous to individuals with suppressed immune systems, such as pregnant women or people with illnesses and chronic conditions.
When the company decided to recall the product, they had only received one report of irritation linked to the bacteria. Other reports did flow in detailing accounts of respiratory issues, diarrhea, rash, infections, irritation, and fever, but none of these issues were ever linked to the B. cepacian bacteria.
12Infantino Sling Suffocation
In 2010, Infantino brand slings, as well as Wendy Ballissimo brand baby sling carriers were recalled after they contributed to the deaths of three infants. The mother to one of the deceased infants, Lisa Cochran (pictured here), recalls the day like it just happened.
As she placed her infant son in his sling and walked from a Salem, Oregon Costco to her car in the parking lot, she noticed her son’s coloring had changed to yellow and he had purple markings on his face from where the sling was rubbing him. The one-week old baby was gone, just like that.
While Infantino agreed to recall the lot of slings, they didn’t accept responsibility for Cochran’s son’s death. In March of 2010, the Consumer and Product Safety Commission issued a warning to parents and caregivers regarding the use of slings, noting that the style of carrier had been linked to 14 infant deaths and they pose suffocation risks of babies, especially those younger than four-months old.
Anthoinette Medley also suffered a loss similar to Cochran’s. In 2009, her three-month old baby, Nelsir, passed away while in the sling, too. She sued the company and was awarded $8 million in compensation — a price that undoubtedly will help her raise Nelsir’s twin, but it will never replace the child she lost.
11Drop Sided Cribs Cause A Number Of Injuries And Deaths
Not too long ago, drop side cribs were the standard. They were easier to use. They certainly helped us get our little bundles of joy down into the crib better without waking them up in the process. So, it would only stand to reason that they be taken away from us. Yes, drop sided cribs weren’t just recalled. They were banned altogether.
Interestingly, it took 104 incident reports of infant injuries and accidents, including a concussion and a death, for this change to come to fruition. Of course, those incidents spanned from 2000 to 2016. Shew! Consider yourselves lucky if you’ve used these cribs in the past. But if you’ve still got one hanging out in the attic ready for your next bundle of joy, it’s time to toss it!
Not only are manufacturers not allowed to make them anymore, but stores can’t sell them. You can’t even sell them. Yes, the government is actually going there and you could be held liable if you sell one of these cribs at the neighborhood yard sale this summer. Sorry, take it to the dump!
10Roman Shade Strangulation In Cords
Back in 2010, Hanover Direct, a company that manufactures housewares, issued a recall for certain varieties of window shades. Roman blinds, roller shades and roll-up blinds were all included in the recall. If you’ve never used one of these types of window shades, you may not immediately understand why they can pose such a risk.
These blinds boast a pulley system instead of weighted strings leveraged against each other like most window blinds do. The continuous system creates a loop of strings on the backing of the blinds. What does this mean for curious children?
It means when they start poking around behind the blinds while looking out the window, they could get their beck caught in the loop. If they managed to pull the cord, they could even strangle themselves. While all three of these blind styles work somewhat differently and could pose harm in different ways, it all boils down to strangulation.
9High Chairs With Loose Bolts
Alright, the problem with high chairs isn’t exactly because they’re high up there. The specific high chair in question came from Graco back in 2010. The recall was issued that March when it became apparent that the screws holding the front legs of the Graco Harmony high chair onto the seat could become loose, fall out and thus allow the chair to collapse or tip over. Another issue presented in which the same chair had a plastic bracket on the back that was breaking and causing the same issues.
Production of this chair ended in the end of 2009, so continued models and revamping the style was unnecessary. Still, 464 reports of these screws coming loose and plastic brackets breaking were reported to Graco. As a result, 24 children ended up being injured, making the recall a necessity.
8Easy Bake Oven Amputations
This recall may stand out to some parents if you had any little ones a decade ago. Reaching way back to 2007, we remember one of the most terrifying recalls that ever occurred. In July of that year, Hasbro’s Easy-Bake Oven was recalled. We know what you’re thinking? Overheating, right? Guess again! Amputation! Say whaaaaaat?!
While around 1 million of these units were manufactured, the company has received some 249 reports of children getting their fingers caught in the oven’s front opening where their fingers and hands were getting caught.
Among those reports, 77 were for burns — 16 of which were of second- and third-degree. In addition, a 5-year old girl’s finger was so badly burned that it needed to be partially amputated. Probably more than what she and her parents bargained for when they dreamt of cooking up some child-sized brownies.
7Lead-Tainted Paint On Thomas The Tank
Thomas the tank engine is quite the popular figure among preschool-aged children. That’s why when 1.5 million of these railway toys were rolled out in 2007, the recall that followed came as a bit of a shock to parents who trust the makers of these toys.
We’ve been taught not to drink water with lead in it. Avoid lipsticks that contain lead. Don’t live in houses that still have remnants of older, lead paint. Yet these millennial-aged toys were being produced with trace amounts of lead in their paint.
Knowing that lead paint can cause adverse health outcomes in children, including developmental delays, lead poisoning and even death, parents were taken aback by the company’s risky behavior in choosing these paints for their toys. While no injuries were reported, it would be virtually impossible for a parent to know that lead contamination in their child came directly from these particular toys.
In addition, children are not routinely screened for lead, either.
6Baby Float Drowning Risks
Remember those amazing baby boat floaties that Aqua Leisure put out on store shelves year after year? They are nearly synonymous with summers at the beach with a baby. Unfortunately, this company hasn’t always been so lucky with their rock star products.
In 2009, a recall was issued for 18 different styles of the company’s floatation devices. The problem? The leg straps in the floatie seats were tearing, which means the safety features were impaired. These features were put in place to make sure the baby stays buckled into the seat in an upright position. When it fails, the child could fall into the water and drown.
Some 350 kids under 5-years old drown each year in swimming pools. Fortunately, no children have been injured as a result of these faulty inflation devices, but there have been 31 reports of the straps tearing and children falling into the water nonetheless.
5Baby Food Fatalities Due To Bacteria Laden Food
This recall is currently in place in Canada. It’s not one-of-a-kind, either. Over the years, many recalls have been placed on baby food products because of bacterial contamination. This time, it’s over a bacterium known as Clostridium botulinum. This bacterium is particularly dangerous because it won’t necessarily make the baby food smell off or look strange, but it can still make the baby very sick.
For this reason, parents may initially think their baby is simply under the weather when they start to throw up or experience diarrhea. Instead, lab tests tend to confirm the bacterial infection later on. The risk of a baby contracting a foodborne illness isn’t high, but parents must be wary about the likelihood of contamination.
If babies ever become listless, or begin to vomit severely or have unusual bowel movements — with or without cramping — soon after eating, it’s a good idea to grab the last food containers they are from before heading off to the emergency room so that these products can be tested, too.
4Baby Carrier Can Detach From The Stroller
Another current recall hails from the United States. Britax had to issue a recall last month on more than 700,000 of their strollers due to a faulty Click & Go receiver mount that was posing a fall hazard. Included in the recall are the Britax B-Agile model and the Bob Motion strollers, but only when they are being used in conjunction with a travel system that has an infant carrier on it.
Whether the stroller is a single-seater or double doesn’t matter, nor does it matter if it is a folding style stroller. To date, 33 reports have been received by Britax about car seat carriers detaching from the stroller without warning and falling. Stemming from such, 26 injuries have been reported. There have been 1,337 reports to Britax that the Click & Go receiver mount used to connect the infant carriers to the strollers were damaged.
3Plastic Swing Can Crack
At least 39 children have been injured while using the Little Tikes 2-in-1 Snug’n Secure pink toddler swing. These swings are staples in many homes of little ones. What parent doesn’t want to push their 2-year old in a swing in the back yard as soon as they’re big enough to, right? No child deserves to be scarred from the playground experience like this.
The Little Tikes swings were recalled because the plastic seat bases were cracking, leaving children at risk of falling. Roughly 140 complaints have been received confirming that this had happened. This specific model of the toy was for sale at major retailers between November of 2009 and May of 2014.
Even if you’re only recently purchased your swing, it’s important to check the model number. Sometimes, a swing is given as a gift and it’s been sitting around for a while at the giver’s house. Someone could purchase recalled products like this from a garage sale or be given it from someone whose child has outgrown it. Always stay up to date on recalls.
2Babies Have Been Choking On The Tiny Beads In The Oball Rattles
There might not be a house in the whole country that is home to a small child and doesn’t have an O-ball. O-ball rattles are all the rage right now. Kids love the, parents like the idea, and they’re affordable. They’re an easy gift and a staple on most baby registries. However, the model being sold since the beginning of 2016 may post serious health risks to your little boy or girl.
In the affected balls, there are three clear plastic discs in the ball, and one of them contains five orange beads. While specific dates and model numbers are listed on the product manufacturer’s website, these are the warning signs that your O-ball may be included in the recall. Make sure to check yours out and spare your little one the risk of choking on the fun, colorful beads in this toy. The O-ball company is refunding all owners of affected balls.
1Formula That Contains Bacteria
In December of 2011, Walmart had to recall a batch of their Enfamil newborn powdered baby formula following the death of a ten-day old infant in Missouri. This isn’t the first-time Enfamil or other formula companies have come under fire for their products.
It’s not unusual to find them being recalled for bacterial contamination or the discovery of an unusual and out-of-place object being found in them. Still, the safety of these products begins to become questionable among parents.
While the Enfamil company had no comment at the time of the infant’s death, they did pull their product from store shelves and an investigation ensued. That investigation would show that the specific type of bacteria that killed little Avery Cornett had infected 120 or more infants across the globe since the late 1950s, and subsequently was linked to infant formulas.
This bacterium, named Cronobacter, can cause encephalitis of the brain in even small amounts, which is often deadly to small infants. Despite this revelation in the investigation, Enfamil was eventually cleared of any ties to the infant’s death, but that doesn’t mean powdered baby formula as a whole is in the clear.
Parents must remember that formula powder isn’t pasteurized and therefore it is not a sterile product. It should always be used within the recommended time frame of reconstitution with water.
Sources: New York Times, Consumer Justice Foundation, Moms Team
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