The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission recently reported on the recall of Triple Eight bicycle helmets for children and youths because they “do not comply with CPSC safety standards for impact resistance.” According the safety release, this could lead to impact head injuries if a fall should occur.
Although no injuries have been reported, this recall involves about 30,400 helmets. Manufactured in China and sold in bicycle and sports retailers across the country, the Washington Post reports these safety devices were available from August 2006 through November 2011. The helmets sold for about $40.
Last May, the CPSC and Health Canada announced a similar-sized helmet recall for Bell Exodus full-face helmets. That recall addressed a faulty chin strap that could fail, allowing the helmet to fall off and pose “a head injury hazard to riders in the event of a fall.”
Sold in Walmart stores across the country and on Amazon.com from August 2009 to March 2011, owners of these helmets were urged to immediately stop using the product and “contact Bell Sports for a replacement or refund.” These helmets sold for between $50 and $60.
These recalled helmets were also sold in sizes intended for youths, and one injury had been reported at the time of this announcement. In that accident, the wearer required stitches below their eye.
However, these two helmet announcements address just one children’s product to be recalled recently due to safety concerns. Beginning more than three years ago, numerous brands of drop side cribs have become the target of widespread recalls after several deaths and serious injuries.
A 2010 release from the CPSC reported on seven different manufacturers who announced recall campaigns to repair cribs that posed entrapment, suffocation, and falling risks. The report explained that these recalled cribs were part of “units manufactured between 2000 and 2009” and amounted to more than two million.
A more recent recall took place last September, when Shermag drop-side cribs were recalled due to the detachment or failure of the sides. According to that report, the CPSC and manufacturer were “aware of 21 incidents” that prompted this recall.
By mid-2011, increasing recall totals and manufacturer involvement had already led to updated federal safety standards for cribs. In fact, evidence shows these recalls may simply be part of the growing trend of increased recalls for all children and infant products. From 2004 to 2008, wemakeitsafer.com shows that recalls for children’s products made up 39.7% of all recalls. This was more than any other category of product during that time period, including home and garden items.
However, by 2010 the number of children’s products recalled had ballooned to over 45%. Despite this overall growth in kids products recalled, one children’s item that did not see a rise in recall numbers during this period was toys. USA TODAY reports that in 2008, toy recall numbers sat at 172. By 2011, there were only 34 toy recalls. The news source explains this significant drop in recall numbers was due to the introduction of a tough new product safety law in 2008.
However, this drop in toy recalls was not met with a corresponding drop in injuries. A November 2011 report from the CPSC showed that toy-related deaths for children younger than 15 actually increased from 2009 to 2010 and “remain alarmingly high.” With such discouraging statistics regarding child product safety and attempts to curb these trends, it’s likely this most recent helmet recall will only spur on increased scrutiny of all children’s products in the future.