Registering new products could be a life saver

December 15, 2011 3:47:03 PM PST
Odds are you're buying all kinds of products for the children in your life this holiday season. Before throwing away the packaging, you make want to take a closer look -- a product registration postcard in the paperwork could be a life saver.

Sixteen-month-old Danny Keyser, 10-month-old Riley Grasseth, and 8-month-old Ethan Hauser's parents never knew their children's portable cribs and play yards were dangerous and recalled due to a deadly defect.

"I will never get to watch him grow up; I will never get to celebrate his first birthday," said Laura Hauser, mother of Ethan.

All Ethan's mother, Laura, has left now are memories and photos of her little boy. Four years before Ethan was even born, this recall notice was issued for his portable crib. But the family who originally bought it never found out, and eventually the hand-me-down play pen, with defective side rails, was given to the Hausers.

"It fell in a 'V' and his neck got trapped and he actually asphyxiated, suffocated and died," Hauser said.

Each year millions of children's products are recalled because of safety defects and many families, like Ethan's, tragically never know.

A new federal law now requires companies that make "durable infant and toddler products" include a pre-stamped post card like these, with every crib, play yard, stroller, and many other kinds of baby products they sell. Parents just fill in their contact information and mail the card, or go online to register. If there's ever a recall, the company can notify them directly.

"The best way that a consumer can find out about a recall is if they're notified directly," said Rachel Weintraub with the Consumer Federation of America.

Problem is a new survey by the Consumer Federation of America found 61 percent of adults with children under 12 did not know this new notification system exists.

"It could mean that a parent never finds out about a recall, about a recall of a product that could cause a devastating injury or even death," Weintraub said.

The new notification law is named after Danny Keyser, who died in a daycare center's portable crib that was recalled five years before he was born. Danny's mother pushed for the change and founded the child advocacy group "Kids in Danger." It wants parents to know companies cannot use their contact info from the registrations for marketing, it's only to notify them of recalls.

"The law that put this product registration program in place makes it illegal for companies to use that information for any other purpose," said Nancy Cowles with Kids in Danger.

The Consumer Federation of America's survey found when parents learned about the new notification law, 85 percent said they'd register in the future.

For more information on the notification law and how to get news about safety recalls, click on the links below:

Consumer Product Safety Commission

Kids in Danger

We Make it Safer

Keeping Babies Safe

Load Comments