Register purchases to protect your child’s safety

Consumer Reports News: November 02, 2011 12:08 PM

One of the simplest and most important ways to protect your child from dangerous or defective products is to register your purchases with the manufacturer. By having your contact information, manufacturers can alert you if the product is recalled.

Seems a logical and straightforward way to be sure that you’ll hear about these recalls, but many parents simply don’t bother. Some believe, mistakenly, that manufacturers will use this information for marketing. (Manufacturers of infant and toddler products are forbidden by law to use product registration information for any purpose other than a product recall or safety alert.) Others simply forget or get distracted, and neglect to take this important step.

Don’t. That’s the message that Don Mays, product safety director for Consumer Reports, wants parents to hear.

“This is a really good idea,” said Mays, who explained that recall compliance improves “when manufacturers notify consumers directly.”

Since June 2010 manufacturers of children’s durable goods are required to provide a product registration card and a way to register online, to make it easier for purchasers to register with the manufacturer. According to a recent national survey that was commissioned by the Consumer Federation of America, however, more than 60 percent of parents with children under 12 were unaware of that regulation.

There are 18 types of products covered by this protection:
• full-size and non-full-size cribs
• toddler beds
high chairs
• booster seats, portable hook-chairs, bath seats
gates and other enclosures for confining a child
play yards
• stationary activity centers
infant carriers
• walkers
bassinets and cradles
• children’s folding chairs
changing tables
infant bouncers
• infant bath tubs
• bed rails
• infant slings

“People should fill out the cards and send them in,” said Mays.

See our buying advice for a wide range of products for babies and kids, including all those indicated above with a blue link.

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Merri Rosenberg

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