- Halloween ranks among the top three holidays in terms of injuries and / or fatalities. The other two most dangerous holidays are July 4th (fireworks) and New Year’s Eve (drunk driving).
- In the 20-year period from 1990 to 2010, the number of fatal accidents involving child pedestrians on Halloween averaged 5.5 each year, compared with 2.6 for other days.
The U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) last week announced the recall of nearly 5 million baby strollers and urged parents and caregivers to take immediate action to prevent possible injury to the strollers’ young occupants. So far, 11 injuries ranging from lacerations to complete fingertip amputations caused by a defective hinge have been reported.(1)
The affected strollers, sold under the Graco and Century brand names, were manufactured between August 1, 2000 and September 25, 2014. According to the recall notice, folding hinges on these strollers can trap a baby’s finger resulting in injury. Of the injuries reported so far, there was one laceration, and four partial and six complete amputations of the children’s fingertips.(2)
A report by Daily Finance noted that this recall is very similar to a 2010 recall by Graco and one of its competitors, MacLaren, adding that the earlier recall involved far fewer strollers. Then this past summer, Graco recalled about 4 million child car seats because of an issue with the buckles that posed a hazard of children being trapped in the seats.(3)
In response to this most recent recall, Graco is offering repair kits which will include a cover for the faulty hinges. These kits are expected to be available by December 1. In the meantime, parents and caregivers are urged to be diligent if using one of the affected strollers to make certain that it is fully locked after unfolding before putting their child inside. Parents are also being warned to remove their child immediately if the stroller should begin to fold while the child is inside.(1)
Even strollers not affected by this recall require the diligent supervision of adults to prevent injuries to children. According to the Keeping Babies Safe website, the most common injury related to strollers result from falls and almost 90% of these result in head injuries. The CPSC reports at least two deaths each year from stroller-related accidents. Most deaths occur when the children are left to sleep with the stroller in a reclining position because caregivers neglect to realize that even infants as young as a couple of weeks can move in their sleep. As the babies move, they slip through the stroller’s leg holes until their heads get trapped, which could result in suffocation or strangulation.(4) Continue reading
More than a year after being recalled, the Nap Nanny baby recliner has been attributed with the death of another baby prompting the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) to release an urgent appeal for all parents to immediately discontinue use and discard the product.(1)
The recliner, manufactured by Baby Matters LLC, a Pennsylvania company no longer in business, was designed to help relieve babies from the discomfort of gas and/or congestion. However, the product has been at the center of controversy since early 2010 when the company voluntarily recalled 30,000 of its recliners following the reported death of a four-month-old. At that time, the CPSC and Baby Matters had received 22 complaints, most involving babies five months of age and younger; these children were found hanging over the side or having fallen from the recliner despite being fastened in.(2)
Automobile recalls are nothing unusual, but the recall announced by General Motors recently has the automaker facing some serious issues and some unique obstacles as well.
Last week, GM released a statement regarding its plans to recall about 780,000 Chevrolet Cobalts and Pontiac G5 cars because of faulty ignition switches. The problem is that the use of heavy key rings or vibrations from riding over rough roads can knock these switches out of drive and into the accessory or off positions, causing the cars to stall unexpectedly. This can also cause a disruption in the car’s electrical system, knocking out the power steering and power-assisted braking system of those cars that have these features. Additionally, this problem can result in deployment failure of the driver’s and front passenger’s airbags. (1)
Did DePuy Orthopaedics, subsidiary of New Jersey-based Johnson & Johnson, knowingly sell defective hip implant devices? That’s the basis of a federal class action lawsuit filed in Trenton late last month. (1)
According to the suit, North Jersey Municipal Employee Benefits Fund v. DePuy Orthopaedics, the Warsaw, Ind.,-based unit of J&J knew there were problems with its hip-replacement system but continued to sell the products anyway. (1)
The ASR XL Acetabular System and the ASR Hip Resurfacing Platform were intended to correct degenerative conditions of the hip caused by ailments such as osteoarthritis. These devices were marketed as superior, with a longer lifespan and more natural fit. It was stated that patients would require less serious corrective surgery and the devices would wear better. Instead, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) received hundreds of complaints about the products from patients across the country. According to these complaints, the implants came loose, dislocated or misaligned. In addition, the friction of metal rubbing against metal produced metal debris that proved harmful to the patients. Among the symptoms experienced were swelling and inflammation, tissue and bone damage and pain. Corrective surgery, which was both painful and expensive, was required to correct the damage. (1)
The State does not look lightly on false advertising and other misleading business practices as at least one New Jersey used car dealer learned recently.
Although it did not admit to any wrongdoing, Global Auto, Inc., based in Elizabeth, NJ, agreed to pay a $140,000 settlement to resolve a lawsuit brought against it by the State’s Attorney General and the Division of Consumer Affairs alleging misleading business practices. (1)
The lawsuit, filed a year ago, alleges that Global Auto, Inc., also known as Auto Collection Group, violated the State’s consumer protection regulations and laws. Among those violations were:
It was supposed to be the forgetful woman’s answer to birth control but now the Ortho Evra patch is the subject of an ongoing investigation and basis for numerous lawsuits against its manufacturer, New Jersey-based pharmaceutical company Johnson & Johnson. The question is whether or not Johnson & Johnson did enough to warn consumers about the higher risks associated with the patch. (1)
When it was first introduced in 2002, the patch was lauded as one of the year’s best inventions. But as popularity of the patch grew, so did evidence about the higher risks associated with the product. (1)
In 2005, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning to consumers that exposure to higher levels of estrogen put them at greater risks for serious side effects, including blood clots and strokes. A warning was then added to the label on the patch advising women that use of the product would expose them to approximately 60% more estrogen than if they used the pill. (2) Medical experts seem to think that is due to the fact that the patch delivers estrogen straight into the bloodstream on a continuous basis whereas, when in pill form, the hormone is dissolved and digested before entering the bloodstream in more diluted levels. (3)