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The Philadelphia Inquirer reports on consumer awareness efforts

The Philadelphia Inquirer recently published a great article discussing how well efforts are working to keep consumers informed of product dangers.  Columnist Jeff Gelles reports that, since last year, U.S. law has required the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to maintain “a new system meant to ensure that parents and others who buy ‘durable infant and toddler products’ – items like cribs, car seats, strollers, and bassinets – learn about recalls before they cause injuries or deaths.”  When parents buy these products, a card enables them to register directly with the manufacturer.  If a product is recalled, the manufacturer can easily reach each person who has registered.

Gelles also reports that, in March, CPSC created a searchable public database,  Through the database, consumers can report product injuries and close calls, as well as search for products they’re thinking of buying.  A simple search can educate the consumer about potential risks a product may pose.

Although this seems like a simple and effective way to empower consumers to educate and product themselves, some manufacturers are fighting these databases.  One anonymous company has even filed a lawsuit against CPSC in Maryland, alleging that it could suffer irreparable harm if injuries allegedly caused by its products were reported in a public database.

Both the registration system and the products database depend on active consumer participation.  Visit to report an unsafe product or research before you make a purchase.  And if you’ve recently purchased a durable infant or toddler product, such as a crib, stroller, or car seat, check the packaging for a registration card.  Fill it out to ensure that you are informed of any recalls.


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