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Study: Defective product recall info rarely reaches parents

New information shows that as few of 10 percent of parents are truly informed about the status of product recalls related to their children. The extraordinarily low return rate of dangerous products in Illinois and other states has caught the attention of several advocacy groups. These advocates have discovered that many companies and regulatory groups wait too long to issue product recalls, a failure that has led to the deaths of scores of children and infants. In general, two victims must suffer injury before a recall is issued.

This failure to remove defective products from the market has fatal consequences, as one emergency medical technician recently realized. That woman was contacted during a shift when her infant daughter was found unresponsive and not breathing. The child reportedly strangled when her portable crib collapsed. That woman realized later that the manufacturer of the crib had recalled the product five years before, but the woman had not received the message. Now, the woman works to promote kids' safety and awareness about recalls.

Companies can choose among several options when issuing a recall. They can provide repairs, refunds or replacements, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Recent products that have been deemed unsafe include dressers and baby monitors, among other commonly used devices.

Poor publicity is blamed for the lack of parental response after a recall. Few companies issue news of the recall on social media platforms such as Facebook or Twitter. In fact, out of the 63 recalls, only about 14 percent were mentioned on such communications networks. It is important to remember that most customers need to hear about recalls for defective products on multiple occasions before they take action.

Victims whose children have been injured or killed because of a recalled product may benefit from an Illinois attorney's advice. These professionals may be able to provide additional information about financial compensation or legal options. Families should not have to suffer through the death of a child because of an unscrupulous company's failure to publicize a recall.

Source: USA Today, "Only 10% of recalled kids products fixed or returned" Alicia McElhaney, Feb. 21, 2014

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