Our first priority as parents is keeping our children safe from harm. The challenge is that with the hundreds of new baby products and toys introduced into the market every day, it is difficult to keep tabs on what is safe, what is recalled, or what products are banned.
What do you look for? How do you know if a toy or stroller you purchase is still safe if it is still on the market? Or what if YOU are the one who is not up to date? The product may still be in your home and your baby may still be using it despite the fact it has been banned.
Thankfully, there are some serious and trustworthy websites we can refer to for updates, most delivering the info right to your email inbox. These organizations provide a list of recalled products primary caregivers should be on high alert for.
According to consumeraffairs.com, a product is recalled from the market twice a week, so why is it that if a product is recalled from the market you don't always hear about it? The truth is, companies are required to recall and issue a press release, but NONE spend advertising dollars to communicate the recall on a more wider scale.
Products can be banned for the following reasons:
- don't meet federal flammability standards
- choking hazard
- laceration hazard
- ingestion hazard
- falling hazard
- toxicity hazard
Despite most volunteer recalls by the manufacturers, not much is done to remove these dangerous products from homes, childcare facilities, secondhand stores and garage sales. This is why millions of recalled products are still in use today.
This list includes 15 banned products manufactured and distributed by major companies you know very well, and odds are you might have one of these in your home.
15 Night Lights
This recall actually involves a Walt Disney Parks and Recreation product aimed at making everyone's night a little brighter!
The Happy Holidays! Mickey Mouse Night Light with a Mickey Mouse face and a red and white Santa Clause hat, is filled with a liquid glitter that can leak from the nightlight into the electrical outlet, posing a fire hazard.
Unfortunately, about 3000 night lights were sold throughout the different Disney Parks and shops in North America, as well as through online Disney Stores in 2016. As is the case with recalled products, customers only realize the consequences after the official recall, or once an accident has occurred.
The night light was only recalled in February of 2017, and although the company received two reports of incidents, including one electrical fire, fortunately no injuries were reported.
What you should do if you have one at home: Take immediate note of the date code (FAC # 019808-16150) printed on the bottom of the night light. Stop using it immediately to avoid any chance of a fire hazard in your child's room. Walt Disney Parks and Resorts US is known to be a responsible company that gives great value to its customers, so there should be no issue on returning the night light for a full refund.
14 Toddler Swings
Children love swings! Odds are you will never see an empty swing in a park unless it is raining, and often with a line up on a particularly beautiful day. What can a parent do to avoid line-ups for games at the park? Simply buy their own baby swing! On the other hand, how many swing accidents do we hear about or witness? This is one of the main reasons toys must be age appropriate and safe, and why children must never be left unattended.
This being said, a recent recall and consequent ban of thousands of Little Tikes 2-in-1 Snug’n Secure pink toddler swings took place in February 2017. The specific swing in question has a pink T-shaped restraint in front with a Little Tikes logo, and is suspended by four yellow ropes, causing a falling hazard.
With over 540,000 units sold in the USA, the company has received over 140 reports of the swing breaking, including 39 injuries to children such as abrasions, bruises, cuts and bumps to the head, as well as children with broken arms. Very serious consequences for simply wanting to put your child on his own personal swing!
The swing was sold at Walmart, Toys “R” Us and other stores nationwide, as well as on the company website for over 5 years before the recall was issued! Even though you may not have one at home now, it started selling in 2009, so odds are your child probably used one at one point. In fact, there are hundreds of these swings sold at second hand markets and passed on from sibling to sibling over the years.
What you should do if you have one at home: Stop using the Little Tikes 2-in-1 Snug’n Secure swing if it has the model number 615573 molded on the back of the seat. Despite you thinking it is safe because an accident has not yet occurred, it is not safe, and the company should be contacted immediately for a refund or credit.
13 Children's Bath Robes
How about that wonderful feeling of wrapping your baby in a warm and fun looking robe after a bath? Well, it can be a dangerous affair, despite what the label says. Although, as a consumer you will often encounter clothes that claim to meet flammability standards on their label, it is not always the case.
In fact, the Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a recall for 8 different Kreative Kids Children's Robes for failing to meet flammability standards for children's sleepwear, and therefore posing a risk of burn injuries.
The products, recalled on January 1st, 2017, include eight styles of children’s 100-percent polyester, hooded robes with long-sleeves, a belt, cinched back and two front pockets, sold in different sizes. The robes are very popular, with varied animal designs children love, such as:
- purple elephant
- pink bear
- lady bug
- blue puppy
- princess cat
Fortunately there were no accidents reported in this case.
What you should do if you have one at home: There is a chance you have one of the 76,000 robes sold. It may seem easy to think that an accident will not happen in your home, especially if the robes are considered flammable but are mostly used in the bathroom were water is present. However, consider the menace of a spark coming from a close by plug, or a hairdryer being close by. Doesn't that increase chances of the robe catching fire? You should therefore stop using the Kreative Kids recalled robe immediately, and contact the company for a refund.
12 Quilted Jacket
OshKosh B'Gosh, a company many parents rely on to purchase their baby's clothes has had to recall a quilted baby jacket due to the snaps on the coat detaching and becoming a chocking hazard.
The recall was issued in November 2017 and unfortunately involves 20 different styles of the OshKosh Baby B’gosh quilted jackets in pink and gray. If you are not sure the recall includes one you may have in your home, the UPC codes and styles can all be found on the Consumer Product Safety Commission website.
Unfortunately the children's clothing manufacturer has sold over 38,000 of these jackets in the US (and 5,000 in Canada), and has since received three reports of a snap detaching, and one case where a child put the snap in her mouth.
What you should do if you have one at home: What would your reaction be if you found your baby with a foreign object in his mouth? Panic? Anger? Maybe both, AND distrust for a company generally known for selling top quality products. Your first step is to immediately take the jacket away from your child. Do not donate the jacket to charity, but return them to any OshKosh or Carter’s store, or contact OshKosh for a full refund.
11 Wiggle Balls
Oh no....what would you do if your baby's favourite toy was recalled? This is what happened to thousands of children with the complete recall of the Bruin Infant Wiggle Ball by one of the most trusted toy stores in the world, Toys R Us. The risk of a choking hazard is a serious issue which the company dealt with swiftly in October 2107.
Toys R Us received six reports of rubber knobs breaking off from the ball, including four very grave incidents of pieces of the product found in children's mouths. Over 30,000 units of the blue ball with textured bumps for gripping and orange, green and yellow rubber knobs were sold throughout the USA and Canada for over 18 months before the recall was communicated to consumers.
What you should do if you have one at home: The Wiggle Ball might be one of your baby's favourite toys for the simple fact that it is colourful and noisy, but it is definitely not worth the risk of keeping it in the toy box. There are many safer alternatives your child will want to play with instead. If you have a Wiggle Ball with the model number 5F6342E, remove it from your home and return it to any Toys R Us or Babies R Us Stores for a full refund.
10 Infant Motion Seats
How essential is a motion seat for a new mom trying to head for a quick shower, or cook up a meal for the evening? How many times has a motion seat saved a mom from a screaming and unconsolable baby?
If you use an infant motion seat, just make sure it is not this one!
The Fisher-Price company recalled over 63,000 units of its Soothing Motions Seats and Smart Connect Soothing Motions Seats due to a fire hazard and overheating of the motor. The October 2017 communication was sparked by 36 reports made to to the company for the overheating of the motion seat, which also included a contained fire.
The item was sold in several stores throughout the US and Canada, including BuybuyBaby, Target, Toys R Us, Walmart, as well as online at Amazon.com and other websites, from November 2015 through October 2017.
What you should do if you have one at home: The infant motion seat was sold in the USA and Canada, and with thousands of these units being sold there is a chance the one you purchased may be one of the recalled products. You will find a complete list of UPC codes on the cpsc.gov website if you are not sure. Stop using the recalled Soothing Motions Seats and contact Fisher Price directly for a full refund.
9 Toddler Plates And Bowls
Children’s Playtex plates and bowls are probably in millions of homes throughout the USA. They are easy to clean, colourful and durable. What more can a mom and kid ask for? Unfortunately, these plates and bowls have been recalled by the parent company due to a dangerous choking hazard.
In fact, over 5 million units were sold in the USA and Canada, with over 372 reports of the clear plastic layer over the graphics bubbling or peeling. Playtex has also received 11 reports of pieces of the detached clear plastic found in children’s mouths, including four reports of choking on a piece of the clear plastic layer.
The plates and bowls were sold in different stores in the US and Canada, including Babies“R”Us, Target and Walmart, for a period of over 8 years, right through 2017! They are colourfully attractive plates with printed images of cars, construction scenes, giraffes, princesses and superheroes. You are probably already starting to nod your head here.
What you should do if you have these items at home: Whether you have a baby just starting to eat solids, or a toddler chewing on chunks of meat, you definitely don't want either to be chewing on plastic! These very popular, seemingly durable products are far from what a responsible parent would willingly be using to feed their child with. If you own one, stop using the plate or bowl and contact Playtex for a full refund.
8 Plush Baby Stacking Toys
What better combination to distract a child than with vivid colours, Disney characters and a rattle? Unfortunately, despite all of the above, it did not turn out so well for one of Hallmark's popular toys.
Hallmark's recall of 5,800 itty bitty baby Disney plush stacking toys during August 2017, was due to a very serious choking hazard caused by the detaching fabric hats and bows. Imagine that, cute little hast and bows in your baby's mouth! How angry would that make you?
The plush toys are very attractive, with a yellow base stand with a post, four rattling rings, and include the ever so popular Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck and Daisy Duck characters. Your child would love these if it weren't for the fact he could be literally choking on the pieces.
The stackable plush toys were sold at Hallmark Gold Crown stores, as well as online at Hallmark.com and Amazon.com, from June 2016 through July 2017.
What you should do if you have one at home: Unfortunately the stacking toys were sold at all Hallmark Gold Crown stores for over a year before a recall was issued. On the bright side, the company is kind enough to send you a prepaid shipping label for the return, and will also give you a 40$ gift card for your trouble.
7 Munchkin Max Chipmunk Toys
Who doesn't love stuffed animals? What if that stuffed plushy toy was a biting munchkin? Well, this is what appeared to have happened with the Munching Max Chipmunk toy when it was recalled by its parent company for a laceration hazard.
The toy was recalled in July 2017 by the Lamaze/Tomy toy company due to a laceration hazard, and involves over 14,000 units. In fact, your little one could have ended up with a cut due to parts inside the toy breaking and creating a sharp point. Fortunately, the TOMY company has received only one report of a laceration on a child's hand.
The Munching Max toy was sold at Babies R Us, Toy R Us and other retail stores in the USA and Canada, as well as Amazon.com from May 2016 through July 2017.
What you should do if you have this toy in your home: As the popular toy was sold at Babies R Us and Toys R Us locations in the USA and Canada, as well as online for over one year, there is a chance you have one in your home if you have a baby or toddler. The recalled items are identified with the number L27578; take the toy away from your child immediately and contact TOMY International. They will fortunately issue a replacement toy, as well as give you a coupon for their online store.
6 Educational Light Tubes
Educational toys are great. As parents we love to invest money in toys we think will occupy our children's time with a purpose. Unfortunately, if you invested in a Roylco Educational Light Cube you will have to return it.
The recall issued by the Consumer Product Safety Commission involves the model number R59601, and is due to cube's lithium polymer battery's possibility of overheating and catching firing, posing a fire hazard.
The cube, primarily used for creative learning in early childhood education, sold over 1,400 units, and although no injuries have been reported, Roylco has received three reports of the light cube battery overheating and catching fire.
What you should do if you have this product in your home or preschool: As a parent and care giver the last thing you expect from a toy, especially an expensive one like an educational light box, is to harm your child! Imagine a toy meant to educate and capture a child's attention....catching fire in the process! If you own one of these products please stop using it asap and contact Roylco for further instructions.
5 Toddlers Sweater Fleece
L.L. Bean is known as one of the best luxury classic and leisurewear brands in the world. Its customer care service reputation did not disappoint when they issued an immediate recall for their Toddler Sweater Fleece Pullover following complaints of a possible choking hazard due to the four snaps of the sweater detaching.
The September 2017 recall involved about 2000 units, fortunately without any reported incidents as it was on the market for only 6 months in 2017.
They have four snaps, two pockets and the L.L. Bean logo tag on the front.
What you should do if you have one at home: As the recall involved toddler sweaters of different sizes and colours you may not immediately recognize the one you have as being recalled. If you have any doubt, stop using the sweater right away and contact L.L. Bean for further instructions. The positive thing is that the company is being proactive and also contacting customers who purchased the item.
4 Popular Child Stroller
This stroller recall involves the GB Qbit lightweight Aria Child stroller that may cause harm to both the caregiver and the child. Wow! This product may cause harm to BOTH the caregiver and the baby? It is items such as these that make us wonder what the initial criteria and standards that need to be met before distributing the product to the market are.
In fact, the Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a recall for 29,400 units last year due to a gap in the stroller’s folding side hinge. The gap can pinch a caregiver’s hand during unfolding, posing a laceration hazard. In addition, the stroller can fold unexpectedly during use, posing an injury and fall hazard to the caregiver and child.
It is a miracle that Aria Child received only five reports of consumers being pinched by the stroller hinge mechanism, with four requiring stitches. There were also 71 reports of the stroller folding during use, resulting in 12 minor bumps or bruises to a child or caregiver, as well as one fractured wrist and elbow to an adult due to a fall.
There are many strollers resembling this one on the market, so if you are unsure that the one you own is a recalled GB Qbit lightweight Aria Child stroller you may want to check to make sure. The Consumer Product Safety Commission website will have a list of the UPC codes in question. The product itself has 4 sets of two wheels, a five-point harnessed restraint system, a full-sized reclining seat, a storage basket, a removable cup holder and a travel storage bag.
What you should do if you are using this stroller: The popular stroller was sold for over 18 months at various locations throughout the USA and Canada. The list of reports and injuries is quite extensive for any product, never mind the fact that it is a product intended to carry a baby! If you are still using this type of stroller please stop using it and contact Aria Child for a free replacement stroller. No investment is worth this type of risk.
3 Baby Gym
The Plan Toys Baby Gym sold about 500 units when it was recalled in October 2017 due to a strangulation hazard caused by the the baby gym's side rope crossbars. The Consumer Product Safety Commission has fortunately not reported any incidents to date, but the reason for the recall is more than valid.
The play gym is described as a wooden, tan coloured toy. It is made to be set on the floor, where the baby is placed beneath it to play with the hanging mobiles. The toy's four legs are connected by two ropes which are the main cause for concern.
What you should do if you have one of these play gyms at home: Although the toy may seem harmless, and your baby may be enjoying it at the moment, it in fact poses a real danger. Fortunately only 500 units of this product were sold, but even if you do not have one in your home, you should still make sure to let acquaintances and other moms know in case they own one. Customers can contact Plan Toys for a free replacement.
2 Baby Bath Seats And Chairs
This cute and useful baby seat can be a big help for mamas during bath time. Unfortunately however, the 7000 units of the Lexibook Baby Bath Seat and Chair were subject to a recall for failing to meet the federal safety standard for stability. The bath seats tip over while a baby is in it, posing a a serious drowning hazard for babies.
The product is intended for children 6 months and up, and has a plastic base with suction cups on the bottom, a back/arm support, as well as a toy tray. They were mainly sold online through Amazon.com, Unbeatablesale.com, Wayfair.com and Youngexplorers.com, from January 2013 through August 2016, and can be different colours.
What you can do if you have one of these seat/chairs at home: This is another product that is often found at flea markets and on second hand on-line stores. For the most part, parents don't realize the seat can cause the death of a child as they haven't experienced an accident themselves, and fortunately there have been no reported accidents to date. As the Lexibook Baby Bath Seats and Chairs were mainly sold online, consumers will have to contact the online retailer directly for instructions. If you own this product, stop using it and keep an eye out if you see anyone else selling it on-line!
1 Infant Bib And Bootie Set
How happy would you be if you received a cute bib and bootie set for your newborn? As a matter of fact, you can't have enough of either when you have a baby. Keeping baby clean and warm is a priority!
So, if you received an Infant Story Time Bib and Bootie Sets by Demdaco as gift, or if you bought one yourself, make sure it is not on the company's list of recalled products! The 1,500 units recalled on September 20, 2017 by the company are at risk of losing the sewn parts attached to the booties, posing a grave choking hazard for children.
The recall is not limited to one set unfortunately, but is actually expanded to include 6 different sets of Story Time bib and bootie for infants, sold under the brand name Nat & Jules. There is an important point to me made here actually, manufacturers will often make products for different brands, and the recalled items may not always be obvious. As is the point with this one product, manufactured by Demdaco.
What you can do if you have one of these sets at home: The bib and bootie set fortunately only sold for one year before its recall in 2017. You should stop using the recalled bib set right away as it can pose a very serious choking hazard for your baby. After all, there is always a chance the boot will come off and that baby will put it in his mouth. Also, babies tend to bite on their feet and hands as they are discovering their surroundings, it wouldn't take much for baby to remove a detachable part from the booties himself. DEMDACO will refund your purchase.
Sources: safekidsworld.com, cpsc.gov, consumerreports.org, consumeraffiars.com