Ruth to the Rescue: Baby products parents still need to watch out for

Published On: Oct 22 2012 07:44:28 AM EDT
dangerous baby products
DETROIT -

In spite of recalls, warnings, injuries, and even deaths, there are a handful of products that could still be out in the marketplace that could end up in your home. Some of these products have been recalled, some are still on store shelves because removing them is a lengthy process and others have repair kits to make them safer.

In this article, Ruth to the Rescue offers a safety review that could help keep your children safe.

Many parents assume if they buy something at the store, it comes with a safety guarantee. David Butler, the deputy director of Consumers Union says that's not always the case. He says sometimes problems are discovered after families start using the products.

"That's always the challenge, is making sure that those products are the very safest that they can be, and when necessary trying to get these dangerous products off the store shelves. but its a very complex process that can take awhile," Butler said.

Crib Recall

Even when products are officially removed from the market, like drop side cribs, parents need to make sure they don't accidentally buy one second hand.

More than 11 million drop side cribs were recalled.

"It was specifically the drop side detached hazard and what happens- the baby can get caught, feet first, get caught at the head and neck area and strangle," explained Nikki Fleming, spokesperson for the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Fleming also told Ruth to the Rescue that the CPSC does work with resale outlets (like eBay and craigslist) to try to catch recalled products that might remain on the marketplace. It is illegal to knowingly sell products that have been recalled.

Baby Bedding Battle

Baby bedding is also area where parents really need to know about possible risks. In June, a Ruth to the Rescue hidden camera investigation showed some employees at major retailers telling our producers that baby bumpers could be placed in a baby's crib. That's the exact opposite of what sleep safety experts told us. Experts admit they're fighting a cultural attitude that involves filling a crib with comfortable blankets, stuffed animals, and those adorable baby bumpers. Pediatric experts warn those items could cause suffocation. 

In fact, sleep safety experts warned all you should have in a crib is the baby, it's sleepwear, and a fitted sheet. The Consumer Product Safety Commission also advises against using sleep positioners, saying they've been connected to 12 deaths.

"Never want to use a sleep positioner, baby can turn to their side, get caught at the head area on the bolster and suffocate." said Nikki Fleming, spokesperson for the Consumer Product Safety Commission. 

Bumbo Reminder 

If you use the Bumbo baby seat, you should have ordered the repair kits the company released in September. Ruth to the Rescue told you about the repair kit, and walked you through the installation process.

"It wasn't hard to install," said Sarah Mayberry, mother and Local 4 Health Producer.

The new buckle is meant to keep baby securely in the seat. There have been 21 reports of skull fractures for babies who fell out of the seat, most on raised surfaces like kitchen counters. 

"My fear is that this seatbelt is going to give parents a false sense of security and make them more likely to put them on a high surface, instead of less," said Mayberry.

So, safety experts and Bumbo International, the company that makes the popular seat, urges parents to use the seat correctly, which means on a flat surface, with parental supervision.

"We worked extensively with the C.P.S.C and an outside testing agency to ensure that the fix we offer for this product is the proper fix," said Tarush Anand, a spokesman for Bumbo.

Protect Your Family  

There is a government website that can help you track safety concerns about a variety of products. Here's a link: www.saferproducts.gov

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