The Consumer Safety Product Commission (CSPC) recently announced new regulations for domestic children products manufacturers and importers. Product liability lawyers at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm welcome these new standards, which include mandatory additional testing at least once a year.
These new regulations are the latest implementations form the 2008 Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act. Previously, manufacturers were required to perform only initial testing for products in certain categories, which included products made with lead, with small parts, metal jewelry, cribs, and pacifiers.
The new regulations require manufacturers to perform testing with CSPC-approved, outside laboratories at least once per year, although this time stipulation can be extended if the manufacturer designs its own testing programs. Testing is also required for any products that change materials, design, manufacture processes, component parts, or component suppliers.
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Outlines of the new testing plans must be submitted to the CSPC for reference, and manufacturers have to maintain records of every test conducted for at least five years. These records must include how often the testing occurs, what specific tests are being performed, how samples were selected and how many samples were tested.
Manufacturers are now required to implement safeguards to prevent excessive influence in the outside laboratory testing, to ensure all tests are accurate and truly third-party. The laboratories must also be made aware that they can contact CSPC directly if any issues arise, without first notifying the manufacturer.
These efforts by the CSPC are not unwarranted; children’s products are recalled more than twice a week in the United States. The CSPC itself recently filed a lawsuit against Baby Matters, LLC, which manufactures the Nap Nanny and Nap Nanny Chill. These products are responsible for at least five infant deaths along with 70 other safety complaints, yet Baby Matters refused to discontinue the product or issue a recall.
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The lawsuit alleged that the Nap Nanny products are defective in design and contain inadequate warnings and instructions, which directly caused the infant deaths and injuries. The product is a foam recliner with a harness designed to increase infant comfort, so the child will sleep more easily. Baby Matters has sold more than 165,000 Nap Nanny products since 2009. By 2010, one infant had died, and 22 other families complained that their infants were found hanging or falling over the edge of the Nanny’s. In that year, Baby Matters redesigned the product’s structure and released an informational video on how to properly use the product.
Other children’s products recently recalled include Bugaboo strollers, which contain a button defect that can cause handles to detach, posing a fall and choking hazard to children. More than 46,000 strollers have been recalled in the U.S., sold at stores like Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, and Toys R Us. Choking hazards also spurred the recall of more than 45,000 Sassy-and Carter’s-branded Hug ‘N Tug baby toys because the beads inside the clear spastic circles at the center of the toys can be easily released. At least 12 reports of the beads’ release have been reported. The toys are about one foot tall and have the faces of puppies or monkeys.
Fisher Price also recently issued a recall of its Rock ‘N Play infant sleepers over mold hazards. More than 800,000 sleeper units are affected, because more than 600 reports of mold have been reported. Apparently mold can easily grow between the removable seat cushion and the plastic frame. At least sixteen infants have required medical treatment for respiratory issues and hives from the mold. The rocking sleeper device was sold online and in stores nationwide since September 2009.
Children’s product recall lawyers at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm understand that the safety of your child is your top priority, which is why we provide these updates as soon as they are available. We hope that, with the new CSPC guidelines, children’s products will be designed and produced more safely, and substantially fewer children will be harmed. If your child was injured by a defective product, you may be entitled to significant compensation against the product’s manufacturer.