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Dangerous Baby Products On The Market

Bring home a new baby, and you bring home a house full of new equipment and products you presume are safe to use.

"One of the most serious challenges is that there are products that may appear to give parents a false sense of security," said David Butler, the Deputy Director for Consumers Union.

Consumers Union says products are designed and sold, and only after being used by children do some safety problems surface.

"That's always the challenge, making sure that those products are the very safest that they can be and when necessary trying to get these dangerous products off the store shelves," Butler said. "But it is a very complex process that can take a while."

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is in charge of tracking injuries and working with manufacturers to redesign products and sometimes issue a recall.

For starters, more than eleven million drop side cribs have been recalled.

"It was specifically the drop side detached hazard and what happens the baby can get caught, feet first. Get caught at the head and neck area and strangle," said Nikki Fleming, a CPSC spokesperson. Thirty-two babies have died.

Also, beware of soft bedding. The CPSC says nearly half of all crib deaths are from suffocation. It warns never put pillows, quilts, cushions or even bumpers in the baby's crib.

The CPSC says do not use sleep positioners. There have been at least 12 deaths. "Baby can turn to their side, get caught at the head area on the bolster and suffocate," said Fleming.

Baby sling carriers are another worry. At least 14 deaths have been reported.

"The commission is concerned about babies suffocating with the fabric against the nose and mouth or when the baby is in a curved position and gets caught chin to chest and can no longer breathe," Fleming said. "Consumers should always make sure baby's head is exposed when using the sling carrier."

Falls also injure children. Recently, Bumbo seats were recalled for a fix.
Twenty-one skull fractures were reported after babies fell out of seats placed on elevated surfaces.

Baby bath seats are another problem. The seat can tip over and the baby can slip through the leg opening and drown.

"When you're setting up a house for a baby, it's overwhelming the number of products being marketed to you and the essential things that you really do need," Butler said. "That's why it's so important to do your homework to find out what you really need and what is considered safe."

One website to check for background information on products is www.saferproducts.gov. It includes potentially dangerous products and products that have already been recalled.


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