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Ask the Experts: Product recalls Ask the Experts

Ask the Experts: Product recalls

Since becoming pregnant, I’ve noticed that baby products are constantly being recalled (at least it seems that way). If a product my family uses is recalled, how can I be sure I don’t miss it?

A: Staying on top of product safety is important for any product category. While some product recalls gain wide publicity, the majority of them likely don’t make the morning news or popular news websites. And even if they do, there’s no guarantee you’ll be watching or reading at just the right time. Fortunately, there are two great ways to be sure to learn about product recalls.

First, there are 25 different children’s product categories that are required by law to come with a product registration card. It is important to know that by law no personal information on these cards can be used for marketing purposes. The only thing a manufacturer can use the information for is to notify you if your product has been recalled or to provide other important safety information.

As part of the recall process, the manufacturer is required to contact the registered consumer directly when announcing a safety action such as a recall. The cards have the product information preprinted and postage is paid, so all that is needed is your name and contact information. If you’d rather register your product online, the card will point you to a website, or you can go online to the manufacturer’s website and find it there. If you move or change your email address or cellphone number, be sure to contact the manufacturer with updated information.

Another way to be notified of product recalls is to sign up for the categories most important to you on the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s (CPSC) website. Here, all you need to do is provide your email address and safety recall information will be sent directly to your inbox. If you don’t want every notice released by the CPSC, you’ll want to go through the menu and customize your choices by choosing the product categories and issue areas of interest for notification.

—Julie Vallese, managing director of government & public affairs for the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association and nationally recognized expert on child and infant safety