The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) was created in 1972 by Congress under the Consumer Product Safety Act and began operating in 1973. Their goal is “to save lives and keep families safe by reducing the risk of injuries and deaths associated with consumer products.”
Part of what they do to protect the consumer is to issue recalls whenever a product has posed a danger. Some of the types of dangers for child-related products include:
In some cases, when the recall is issued, consumers are directed to return the items to the place of purchase for a replacement. In other cases, repair kits or repair instructions can be obtained from the manufacturer to eliminate the safety threat without having to execute an exchange. Basically, the remedies vary, but the CPSC spells them out in their recall announcements, which take the form of press releases.
There are several ways to obtain these recall announcements. Here are a few of them:
1. Conduct Research at the CPSC’s Website
The CPSC’s website address is http://www.cpsc.gov/. The website covers all types of consumer products, not just child-related items. Not only do they publish the product recalls, but they also provide important educational material in the Safety Education section of their website.
2. Subscribe to the CPSC’s Announcements
The CPSC’s website lists two timely methods for obtaining their recent news releases:
- E-Mail Subscription – You can select the category of the announcements you receive. For the child-related announcements, choose “Only those recalls involving infant/child products (list name: child).”
- Subscribe to the RSS Feeds – As with the E-Mail Subscription, you can choose your categories for your RSS reader. For the child-related recalls, select “Recalls involving infant/child products (sent at the end of the day).”
3. Visit Our Website
We have created a page on our website that publishes the RSS feed for the latest child-related product recalls. This page can be reached by selecting “Child-Related Product Recalls” from the “Resources for Homeschoolers” menu item at the top of each page of our site.
As resellers, we must be aware of recalls on older products so that we don’t list them in our store. If you are preparing a shipment of items to place on consignment, you, too, may benefit from the use of any of these tools. It’s better to catch the recall information early than to pay the shipping costs for a product that ultimately cannot be sold.
How You Can Help
The CPSC asks that you report any safety problems you’ve experienced with a product as soon as possible. Visit their Contact Information page for all of their reporting options (select from the drop down menu under “How Can We Help You? Frequently Asked Questions and Answers”).
This Page Was Recently Updated
The CPSC updated their website recently, so some of the information in the original article had to be updated (October 2015). Noticeably absent is the Recalls.gov application for Android smart phones. You’ll have to shop for other applications that provide recall alerts as they become available.