Navigating the infant aisles at any major department store is a daunting task. There are so many items to consider, and new and soon-to-be parents are already so overwhelmed with everything else going on in their lives that making choices about what toys and cribs and clothes to surround their child with can seem an insurmountable problem. All a parent can rely on is the word of mouth of other parents, the honesty of the manufacturers, and that federal law is being correctly enforced.
Unfortunately, parents can’t always make the right choice, even when making the most informed choice. There are so many products coming on and off the market at any time that it is impossible for a parent to know for sure whether any product is safe. Manufacturers can take advantage of this in a variety of ways.
One product in particular, called the Nap Nanny, has recently attracted the eye of the Federal Government. Six infants have died while sleeping in the infant recliner, frequently after a mishap with the harness or belt. The manufacturers fought the Consumer Product Safety Commission even after the first five deaths and 70 complaints had been filed. Major retailers took it upon themselves to recall the product, in a very unusual move, after the manufacturers wouldn’t.
One of the scariest aspects of the Nap Nanny was that an earlier version had been recalled, only to have the second generation have similar problems. This made it extra difficult on parents, who believed that the company had addressed any safety hazards.
You can never be too safe when it comes to your baby. To protect your child, make sure to research any product you buy, including:
- Looking at reviews, including major websites and magazines like Parents and Consumer Reports.
- Sign up for online recall notification sites.
- Register your product, so that if a recall does occur the company or government will notify you.
- Look at reviews on the major retailer websites, to see what other people who have actually bought the product think.
- Check the history of the product and whether previous versions existed. Safety defects from earlier versions might still exist in later versions of the product.
Sometimes, despite our best efforts as parents, we buy a product that is unsafe, and our child is injured. As difficult as it can be to think about anything but the loss or injury of our loved ones, we must do whatever is in our power to get an unsafe product off the market. Reporting the incident to the authorities is a first step, but a lawyer can also help you hold the company to account and make sure no other children are hurt or killed by a defective product.