September is Baby Safety Month and it comes as we read and hear about defective baby items almost every day in the news. In fact there are on average 5 baby products recalled every month. That’s a lot of worrying for any new family, but thankfully we have the U. S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, CPSC, to watch out for us. Damages from unsafe consumer products cost the U.S. more than $700 billion per year. But over the last 30 years there has been a 30% drop in death and injury, thanks to smarter consumers.
If you’re a new parent, here are two new warnings out this week that you should be concerned with.
The first one is the recall of infant formula imported from China. This recall specifically is targeted to the Chinese American communities within California, but it could also end up in any store. The Orange County community of Irvine has one of the fastest growing Chinese populations in California and so has many shops containing Chinese -made products. The Federal Drug administration, FDA, is worried that some formula may have brought in illegally and potentially be in ethnic markets. It is illegal to import Chinese manufactured baby formula, but it does end up here. The name of the product is Sanlu.
So far there have been no reported illnesses in the U.S. but in China, three infants have died and 6000+ children have been sickened with kidney stones, flu-like symptoms and kidney failure. It has been discovered that the formula has been tainted with melamine, which is a nitrogen-based compound used in commercial plastics and industrial products. You may recall the large recall of pet food last year had the same ingredient. The Chinese government is now sending inspectors out to the milk suppliers of Sanlu Group. Evidence is mounting that the suppliers were adding the melamine to the milk to artificially give the milk higher protein content. Sanlu knew about the tainting as early as May when the first baby died, but kept quiet to avoid bad press during the Olympic games.
The second warning is a major recall of baby cribs and bassinets. This is the third major recall of children’s sleep furniture from Simplicity. A year ago Simplicity recalled over 1 million cribs after the deaths of two children. Some of these cribs were sold under the brand name of Graco. Just last month, 900,000 bassinets under the brands Simplicity, Disney and Graco were recalled. This month, 600,000 drop-side cribs can come off its tracks and suffocate a child. The cribs were made between January 2005 to August 2008 and were sold at Target, Wal-Mart and Babies-r-us. For more information on model numbers of the cribs, please visit the CPSC website at www.cpsc.gov for more information on this and other defective baby products.
Just to complicate the issue a little more, Simplicity has gone bankrupt and sold its assets to a new buyer. That buyer has now stated that they are not liable for recalling any products. Sound confusing? If your infant has been injured from this type of product or any other device, you don’t hesitate to consult an attorney to answer all your questions.