A Consumer Reports Survey released today found that only one fifth, or twenty percent, of adults knew they’d purchased food, medication or a product (other than a car) that had been recalled in the last three years. According to the survey, people get most of their information about recalled products through the news, but when you’re at the grocery store or pharmacy, it can be difficult to remember just why a product’s name is jumping out at you. Is it a recall or a catchy jingle?
In 2010, as Babble has reported, almost every major manufacturer of over-the-counter children’s medicine had a major recall and there were 263 recalls of consumer products for infants and babies, including crib recalls and stroller recalls, a 68 percent increase over 2009. Tragically, flaws in production and design have led to several deaths. In a world of information overload, what this new survey from Consumer Reports shows is it’s hard to keep on top of everything you need to know.So what kind of recalled products are people buying? According to the survey, of the 20 percent of Americans who believe they purchased a recalled product, nearly 40 percent said they’d bought recalled food, almost 40 percent for a medication, and 24 percent said they’d bought a product.
And when it comes to researching a product, less than one quarter of Americans researched a product to see if it was recalled. Having spent the better part of my last trimester obsessively researching double strollers and canvasing friends for tips, I find this number a little surprising. But then again, I’ve worked for media outlets geared towards parents and know how many recalls there can be every year. Maybe if I hadn’t already known, I wouldn’t have known to look for this information.
Products are recalled either by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) or CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission). Because faulty products can cause injuries or death, it’s crucial to research all major products you’ll use for a child. Bassinets, cribs, car seats, baby carriers, when considering which to purchase, check to see when the last recall was and what it was for. You can find product recall information on the CPSC web site. If there’s a major food or drug recall underway, either set up a list on your hand held device, or keep the old fashioned kind tucked into your wallet, with the date on it. I know I for one could keep a note like that in my wallet for several years.
How do you keep track of recalls? Can you?