Putting Children’s Hazards in the Spotlight


Elected officials and product safety groups joined Tuesday to urge that consumers check their homes for hazardous items that have been recalled but continue to cause injuries, even death, in homes.

“Unintentional and unavoidable injuries kill more children over the age of 1 than any disease known to mankind,” county Supervisor Mike Antonovich said as he and colleagues launched a product recall roundup campaign.

Millions of products, including playpens that can choke toddlers and baby carriers that can propel young children forward with sudden release of a handle latch, remain in use despite recalls, according to Marcia Kerr of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.


Only about half of recalled products are returned to manufacturers, officials said. Local and national consumer organizations have worked with retailers to keep hazardous products off store shelves, but many items continue to circulate in swap meets and garage sales.

“I’ve learned that many people don’t realize the hazards,” said Kerr, whose 2-year-old son died in her backyard pool. “I’ve seen many parents who just didn’t know. I want to tell families to just please take action.”

In most cases, manufacturers offer telephone numbers that consumers can call to ask for free repair or replacement of the products. Consumers can also get information from the Consumer Product Safety Commission at (800) 638-2772 or its Web site at