Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Recalls, recalls

I am so very annoyed with recalls sometimes.

Stork Craft Cribs
The latest one is for Stork Craft cribs.

The Stork Craft cribs have had problems with their hardware, which can break, deform or become missing after years. CPSC said there can also be problems with assembly mistakes by the crib owner. These problems can cause the drop-side to detach, creating a dangerous space between the drop-side and the crib mattress, where a child can become trapped.

You mean...things with movable parts get wear and tear after years of use? Say it ain't so! And assembly mistakes by the owners... Before we picked our crib, we researched cribs, and these were the main arguments on the CPSC's website against drop-sides in general. Rather than any manufacturing problems, they're end-user problems that are out of the control of the companies making the products.

While we ultimately went with a non-drop-side (convertible cribs that turn into toddler and full-side beds aren't available as drop-sides), and I don't like drop-sides as it is (memories of those springs and such smashing my fingers when I played with them), I'm going to have to take the stance that Stork Craft shouldn't be held responsible here when the problem isn't a manufacturing defect. It's a parent's responsibility to make sure something is assembled right and that all parts are in fine, working order before use. Failure to do that shouldn't be someone else's financial loss.

Yes, I understand that, of the 2.1 million cribs being recalled, four babies have died. This places the chance of death at 1 in 525,000 (really far less since most cribs are used by more than one baby). Sure, "even one is too many," but there's simply no way to make anything in this world 100% safe 100% of the time, and having this expectation is unreasonable. Having it be a wish, fine. But expecting it, insisting it should be so? No.

Maclaren Strollers
Just earlier this month, Maclaren recalled over a million strollers because:

A side hinge mechanism poses the risk of cutting or amputating a child's fingers when the stroller is being opened or closed..

What the hell are parents letting their children put their fingers in the hinges when opening and closing the strollers? This is just plain stupid on the parents' part and, again, is not a problem with manufacturing, yet the company is forced to pay the price. Shit, use some common sense and don't be an idiot. Don't let your kids put their fingers in a hinge when you're doing something with it.

Easy Bake Ovens
I remember burning my fingers on hot Easy Bake Oven pans and just being told to be more careful next time. Now they keep getting recalled because kids stick their hands into the over and burn themselves. Wow, you mean something that's supposed to get hot enough to bake a small cake can burn? Really?! Seriously?! (end sarcasm) Good lord, what happened to common sense? This is a risk you take when you buy your kid a toy that is supposed to get hot. It's been a couple years since the last recall, so it'll be pretty soon that it's time for yet another recall on these things.

Lawn Darts
And let's nor forget a much older one, Lawn Darts. These were big darts with weighted metal points thrown underhanded toward plastic rings on the ground. Easy enough to know what not to do with them. You don't throw knives at people, supervise kids when using something pointy like this, etc. etc. etc. Well you know how it goes. People didn't supervise or just plain thought it was a good idea to let people throw darts at each other or something. Maybe they were bored, so tossing them into the air for the kiddies and other people to catch sounded fun. Who knows. But three people managed to die, so the CSPS outright bans them from the US.

Snacktime Cabbage Patch Kids Dolls
These recalls aren't like the Snacktime Cabbage Patch Kids recall from 1997. With that one, toy food was stuck in the mouth to be eaten, but not clearly visible at all (I've seen these dolls) is that there is a sharp metal plate at the back that chomps the "food", with an awfully powerful motor. This was a hidden danger that resulted in fingers being amputated and children's hair being sucked in and pulled out by the roots. This wasn't a wear-and-tear issue, or assembly-by-parents problem, or a just plain "no shit, Sherlock" problem (or a lead paint problem, which no one should expect since lead in paint has been banned since the 70's, not that that's been stopping China and Mattel from importing toys with lead paint, and by the way, Mattel has managed to get an exemption from the CSPIA laws requiring third-party testing that's put so many mom-and-pop handcrafting toy companies out of business).

Even drunk-drivers should get off the hook?
At what point are parents expected to take responsibility? Or are we now in a world where it's always someone else's fault, no matter what? I guess so. After all, there are a lot of ads playing on the radio right now for Top Gun DUI, a defense firm saying that just because you drink and drive doesn't mean you should have to suffer the consequences of a DUI conviction, with their stupid slogan, "Friend don't let friends plead guilty." In my opinion, you choose to drink, you choose to drive you choose to endanger me and everyone else on the road, you can go to hell. How 'bout that? But nope, Berman thinks people shouldn't have to pay consequences of drinking and driving, who cares that this kills many people. I wonder if he'd feel the same if his child was killed by a drunk driver.

Anyway yeah, most recalls are stupid and send the message that no one should ever be responsible for anything they do because you can always just sue because of your own stupidity.


  1. It appears that common sense is not that common anymore *shakes head*.

  2. Actually is appears that the sense that is now common is just stupidity. Let's hope we raise our baby with good sense rather than common sense.


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