Manufacturers and retailers are responsible for marketing toys and products free from defects or potential danger. Too often, parents learn too late of the inherent danger in goods sold for use by their children.
In December 2013, IKEA, a Swedish home furnishing retailer, recalled its SMILA line of wall lamps. The lamps, available in bright colors and shapes like a star, seahorse, heart and flower, were marketed for use around children.
The recall was prompted by the death of one child and the near-death of another. The tragic death involved a 17-month-old toddler, who became entangled in the lamp cord of his SMILA wall lamp. Unable to free himself, he suffocated and died. A 15-month-old child became similarly entangled but was rescued before he strangled to death.
Approximately three million of the lamps are being recalled in the United States and Canada, while 23 million have been sold worldwide.
Even very cautious parents can unknowingly endanger children when they rely on the safety of products they buy. Common hazards to children include:
- Clothing: Drawstrings and cords entrap and strangle young children and teens. Loose snaps and other appliqués could cause choking hazards.
- Furniture: Unsecured night and television stands can tip and injure children. Defective high chairs and other infant furniture can prove fatal.
- Cords: Lamp, television, appliance, computer and other cords are inherently attractive and dangerous to children. Affix cords to walls or furniture rather than running cords under carpeting.