A defective Sesame Beginnings Travel Play Yard caused the death of a 10 month old boy, leading manufacturer Kolcraft Enterprises, Inc. to recall more than 400,000 playpens (often called a “pack and play” by modern parents). Each year, dangerous products cause injury and death to hundreds of thousands of Americans. For instance, in 2005, toys alone caused injury to more than 200,000 children and led to the death of 20 children. The Consumer Product Safety Commission is a government agency that monitors dangerous products and recalls products when necessary. Unfortunately, by the time the Commission is aware of the dangerousness of a product and issues a recall, the product has already caused injury or death to one or more people.
For instance, the Kolcraft playpens were recalled after a 10 month old baby died from being strangled by a strap that hangs from a changing table that fits on top of the play yard. In this instance, the recall applies not only to the Sesame Beginnings model in which the baby died, but to 12 other playpen models sold in the United States between January 2001 and September, 2007 at a cost of $50 – $130. One of the recalled models, the Contours 3-in-1 Play Yard, poses a risk of suffocation in that a raised rocking cradel in the device can trap a baby if the cradle rolls over.
About 2500 products are recalled each year. If you want to receive warnings about products and recall notices, you can subscribe to receive emails from the Commission when a recall is placed on a product. In my opinion, one of the best features of the subscription service is that you can specify what types of product recalls you want to be notified about. I, for instance, only receive recalls that involve infant and children’s products, but there are about a half-dozen categories from which you can choose.