NBC 5 Responds

Report Finds Increase in Child Deaths, Injuries Tied to Recalled Products

The Chicago based nonprofit Kids in Danger urges parents and caregivers to be aware of recalled products that led to deaths and injuries in 2021

NBC Universal, Inc.

The year 2021 was a challenging year for child safety. That’s the main takeaway from the Kids in Danger (KID) annual report released Thursday, tracking children’s product safety recalls and trends. 

The report is based on recall data and findings from the U.S. Consumer Product and Safety Commission.

While some of the recalls have been widely reported, others have not. And safety advocates believe it’s information that could mean life or death for parents and caregivers.

KID found what it calls an “alarmingly high number of deaths” last year tied to recalled products, a sharp increase from the year prior.

The report states there were no deaths in 2020; but in 2021, there were 14 deaths that occurred prior to the recall of a product. 

“These were only deaths reported before the recall, so there could have been additional deaths even after the recall,” KID Assistant Director Dev Gowda told NBC 5 Responds, adding that, “Nursery products account for the most deaths.”

“In 2021, there were 14 deaths, 136 injuries, and 6,058 incidents prior to recall, compared to 2020 in which there were no deaths, nine injuries, and 704 incidents.”

- KID March 2022 Annual Report

To read the report, click here.

Injuries and incidents from products that were later recalled also skyrocketed this past year, Gowda said, adding that it is vital for parents to be aware of the products they buy.

While federal regulators require recalled products to be removed off of store shelves, monitoring secondhand businesses, donations and other sales online for risky goods is difficult, adding to the argument that parents and caregivers need to be more aware and do their research. 

“Recalled items should not appear on store shelves; however, they may still be available through second hand sellers,” a statement from Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul reads, reacting to the KID Annual report. “[The report] will help consumers avoid buying recalled products for the children in their lives.”

“The purpose of this report is to alert parents and caregivers about recalled and dangerous products so they can remove them from their home and childcare facilities,” Gowda said.

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