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What Should I Do When Baby Products Are Recalled?

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Question: What Should I Do When Baby Products Are Recalled?
It can be alarming when the products you use for your baby are recalled. However, recalled baby products are not usually cause for panic. In fact, sometimes the problem is easily fixed by removing a dangerous part or ordering a repair kit. Here's what to do when your baby products or toys are recalled.
Answer: First, take a look at the CPSC.gov website and find the page for the product recall. New recalls are posted right on the CPSC homepage, and you'll also find those links posted on the About.com Baby Products Blog for major baby products recalls. Find out what the hazard, or reason for recall, is. Double check your model numbers and styles to be sure that it is actually your baby product that is being recalled. Sometimes only specific date codes within a model number may be recalled.

Common Remedies for Recalled Products

Once you've determined that your baby product is indeed being recalled, and you know about the hazard, take a look at what the remedy is for the recall. Some potential remedies for recalled baby products are:
  • returning the product to the manufacturer for replacement
  • Returning the product to the store where purchased for exchange or refund
  • returning a piece of the product to the manufacturer for replacement
  • ordering a free repair kit
  • throwing the product away and receiving a refund or replacement
  • removing the dangerous piece to remove the hazard
  • replacing warning labels or instruction books

Manufacturer Contact for Recalled Baby Products

Nearly all recalls will require you to contact the manufacturer in some way. Usually, this is via a toll-free phone number. However, many manufacturers are now also providing web forms and other electronic means of contact for recalled products. Occasionally, retail stores may be involved in the recall process, so you may be able to simply return the recalled baby products to a store for a refund or exchange. If it is possible to fix the product without returning it, such as removing a drawstring at the neck of a sweatshirt, you may be instructed to simply remove the hazard on your own without contacting the manufacturer.

Registering Baby Products In Case of Recall

Recalls present a good argument for registering your baby products immediately with the enclosed forms when you buy them. If you've registered your products, the manufacturer can contact you directly when a recall is issued. If you threw away your registration cards, you can often register by calling the manufacturer with the model numbers and other pertinent product information. If you haven't registered your baby's car seat, you can find electronic registration forms for most manufacturers at SaferCar.gov.

Should I Fix Recalled Baby Products On My Own?

Unless CPSC or the manufacturer instructs you to fix a recalled product or to install a repair kit. you should not attempt to fix it on your own. Do-it-yourself fixes may not hold for long, or they might introduce other hazards to your baby. CPSC has specifically warned against trying to fix broken or recalled cribs on your own. In fact, there are some infant deaths related to DIY crib repairs.
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