The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced an initiative to get recalled products off the shelves of resale stores. To keep products like these permanently out of consumer's hands, CPSC is joining forces with the National Safe Kids Campaign (Safe Kids), The Danny Foundation, and the National Association of Resale & Thrift Shops (NARTS) to launch a massive Resale Round-Up.
-Tek Nek Toys announced the recall of 70,000 ride-on toys because a screw and nut assembly attaching the steering wheel can come loose, posing a choking and aspiration hazard; Tek Nek received six reports of the screw and nut coming loose, including the reported death of an 18-month-old boy who aspirated a screw.
-Mattel announced the recall of 314,000 Batman Batmobile toys because the rigid plastic wings come to a point, posing a puncture and laceration hazard; 14 injuries have been reported.
-Nikko America announced the recall of 267,000 radio-control toy trucks because of a problem with the circuit board overheating; there have been five reports of overheating resulting in minor property damage caused by fire and smoke.
To keep products like these permanently out of consumer's hands, CPSC is joining forces with the National Safe Kids Campaign (Safe Kids), The Danny Foundation, and the National Association of Resale & Thrift Shops (NARTS) to launch a massive Resale Round-Up.
"Unfortunately, many products like the ones we are recalling today can remain in consumers' homes for long periods of time," said CPSC Chairman Hal Stratton. "Families who are planning a trip to the local second-hand store or hosting a yard sale should take steps to avoid purchasing or selling a dangerous product."
To prevent injuries or deaths from products such as old cribs that could strangle or entrap a baby or decades-old cedar chests that could suffocate children, CPSC, Safe Kids, The Danny Foundation, and NARTS will assist resale, consignment, and thrift stores in identifying and pulling previously recalled or banned products from their shelves. CPSC will work with these partners to educate store owners and employees on which consumer products to keep out of their stores.
Consumers can do their part by checking out the web site www.recalls.gov before bringing any products into a resale store or hosting a yard sale. This web site provides easy access to recall and safety information from CPSC and other federal agencies involved in product recalls. By searching this site, consumers will know if the hand-me-downs should be disposed of or can be repaired.
"Hand-me-downs and old children's products may have sentimental value but may no longer be safe to use," said Chairman Stratton. "We remain steadfast in our commitment to prevent children and consumers from being hurt by these dangerous products."
"We understand the practicality of using second-hand products for children. However, we want parents to make informed decisions when they do," said Alan Korn, public policy director, the National SAFE KIDS Campaign. "Educating parents and caregivers about their dangers and helping keep them off the shelves is an important first step."
"NARTS has always been diligent in providing product safety education to its members. Now we are reaching out to the entire industry with our new program, ‘Involve, Inform, Inspire!' Our membership will inform and inspire other resalers to ensure that the merchandise they offer for sale is hazard-free," said NARTS Executive Director Adele Meyer. "Consumers deserve to have confidence that the goods they buy are safe, no matter where they buy them."
Throughout the year, CPSC staff will work with officials from NARTS and SAFE KIDS to host seminars to educate resale and thrift store staff on the dangers of recalled products. A CPSC study in 1999 revealed that nearly 70 percent of resale stores sold at least one hazardous product. The top three products found at that time were children's jackets and sweatshirts with drawstrings presenting a strangulation hazard, hairdryers that did not include a safety device to protect against electrocution, and cribs that did not meet federal safety standards.
CPSC has prepared information about these and other products frequently sold at resale stores and yard sales.
For more information about thrift store safety, consumers should contact CPSC at (800) 638-2772 or visit www.cpsc.gov or www.recalls.gov. Consumers and resale store owners and employees can download (pdf) or order free of charge a new publication called, "Dangerous and Recalled Products Reference Guide."
In the first three months of 2004, CPSC also announced the recall of 1 million children's rings that contain lead, nearly 300,000 NERF Big Play footballs that pose a risk of facial cuts, and nearly 400,000 attachments to high chairs and mobile entertainers that pose a choking hazard to young children.
"Despite recall notices and public warnings, CPSC believes that many products with the potential to seriously injure or kill are still being used by children," said Chairman Stratton. "Thousands of homes may have these hazardous products, which should be thrown out, repaired or replaced."