Posted by Davis, Saperstein & Salomon, P.C. on November 6, 2013
As a parent, you personally inspect everything you buy for your child to make sure you purchase only items that are safe. Fortunately, there are agencies and organizations on your side, testing products to ensure their safety. Consumer Reports, for instance, recently released findings that suggest the Truly Scrumptious Travel System, a baby stroller from celebrity model Heidi Klum, may be unsafe.
The problem with the $220 stroller, sold exclusively at Babies “R” Us, is that the harness buckles may release, causing a child to get loose and fall.
The stroller includes a car seat and base. It is designed for children from birth to age 4. Consumer Reports says the car seat and base passed its safety inspections, but the stroller proved unworthy of endorsement.
The testing included putting 45 pounds of pressure on the harness attachment point of the stroller. When testers applied force to the place where the harness attaches to the buckle, the right side released 10 out of 15 times on three separate samples. It also released on an impact test—a test that simulates the stroller hitting a curb.
While the maker of the stroller, Dorel Juvenile Group, says the system is safe and disagrees with the findings, Consumer Reports has deemed the stroller system a “Don’t Buy: Safety Risk.”
Nursery Products a Common Source of Injuries
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is the federal regulatory agency that tracks consumer products and safety. The commission issues recalls, disseminates information, and works to keep companies accountable for the products they put on the market.
According to the commission’s annual report (pdf), in 2011 there were around 74,100 emergency room injuries associated with nursery products among children under the age of 5. These products include strollers, car seats, cribs, mattresses, and high chairs.
Falls were the single greatest cause of injuries, something Consumer Reports is concerned about in the case of the Heidi Klum stroller.
Injuries from these products, or resulting from accidents involving but not necessarily caused by these products, include internal organ injuries, lacerations, and contusions or abrasions. These accounted for 74 percent of the injuries. If your child is injured because of an unsafe product, New York and New Jersey defective products attorneys can advise you of your legal rights.
An average of 114 children under 5 die each year as a result of accidents associated with nursery products. These deaths are caused by asphyxia, strangulation, and drowning, among other causes.
While most manufacturers are careful not to release products that may be unsafe, some safety issues aren’t identified until the product is already being offered and used. As a matter of fact, it sometimes takes several accidents before a safety issue is recognized and addressed.
Check for Safety
The website of the Consumer Product Safety Commission offers a wealth of information on product safety, testing, and recalls. If you have any questions about a specific product, you can enter the information to find whether a recall has been issued or to learn more about safety concerns.
Consumer Reports also offers safety reviews and information that can prove worthwhile to concerned parents.
When you spend hundreds of dollars on strollers, car seats, swings, and more, you want to know your child will not have a fall accident or suffer serious injury because of a defective product.