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There were 100 recalls of children's products last year — the most since 2013

Clockwise from top left: Goalsetter wall-mounted basketball goals recalled for injury hazard; 4moms MamaRoo Baby Swing, versions 1.0-4.0, recalled for strangulation hazard; Blue's Clues Foot to Floor Ride-on Toys recalled for injury and fall hazards; Pillowfort Weighted Blankets recalled for asphyxiation hazard and risk of death.
U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
Clockwise from top left: Goalsetter wall-mounted basketball goals recalled for injury hazard; 4moms MamaRoo Baby Swing, versions 1.0-4.0, recalled for strangulation hazard; Blue's Clues Foot to Floor Ride-on Toys recalled for injury and fall hazards; Pillowfort Weighted Blankets recalled for asphyxiation hazard and risk of death.

There were more recalls of children's products in 2022 than in any other year in nearly a decade, a new report has found.

The group Kids in Danger, which advocates for safe products for children, reported that there were 100 recalls of children's items in 2022 — higher than any other year since 2013. They made up 34% of total recalls last year.

"Kids In Danger's latest recall report is a wakeup call – we are continuing to see deaths and injuries both before and after product recalls," Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., said in a statement.

There were a wide variety of products recalled last year, including MamaRoo Baby Swings and RockaRoo Baby Rockers, which posed a strangulation hazard and led to at least one death. Other recalled products listed in the report included a weighted blanket, a basketball hoop, toys, clothing and a popular stroller.

Product recalls are reported through the Consumer Product Safety Commission, or CPSC, which works with companies to announce recalls and also makes the public aware of other potentially hazardous items.

"Whenever we see a dangerous product, especially one targeted to children, we urge companies to recall that product and remove it from the marketplace and from consumers' homes," said CPSC spokesperson Patty Davis in an email to NPR.

"When a company refuses to work with CPSC on a recall, we have been issuing safety warnings on our own to consumers," she added.

But critics say more has to be done. Schakowsky specifically took aim at the fact that federal law prevents the commission from saying much about products it believes are dangerous without express permission from companies.

"Simply put, it protects companies over consumers," Schakowsky said, adding that she would introduce legislation to strengthen the CPSC in the coming days.

Nineteen of the recalls were related to the risk of lead poisoning. Another 32 recalls were of clothing, the majority of which were pulled from the market for failing to meet federal flammability standards, KID said.

The number of deaths and injuries that occurred before recalls were announced fell last year, when compared to 2021. But the four fatalities and 47 injuries related to later-recalled products were both higher than in other recent years.

There's one important caveat: Though the number of children's product recalls ticked up in 2022, the number of actual units recalled dropped. Of the children's products recalled last year, there were roughly 5.5 million units, compared with more than 19 million in 2021.

The total number of product recalls last year hit 293, the highest it's been in any year since 2016, when there were 332.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Joe Hernandez