Product Liability and Children’s Products

Children's product recall

Most incidents involve nursery products

Many of our clients and potential clients manufacture, supply or sell children’s products.  As I tell them all, children’s products are the most unique category of products on the market and typically more difficult to insure.

The reason is the number of injuries and deaths linked to them each year.

Looking at the statistics

Approximately 1.4 million children aged 3 and under were seen in U.S. emergency rooms between 1991 and 2011 for children’s product-related injuries. Falls from strollers, cribs, walkers and baby carriers accounted for about 80% of those injuries.

The Center for Injury Research and Policy compiled data about nursery-product related childhood injuries in an effort to determine how to prevent future incidents.

The results show that nearly 50% of all injuries were to the head and neck and more than 50% occurred during the first year of life. Slightly more than 33% of injuries were to infants between the ages of 6 and 11 months and 88% of injuries occurred in the home. Most frequently involved products were baby carriers (20%), cribs and mattresses (19%), and strollers (17%).

Between 2009 and 2012 nursery products were the most recalled of all children’s products. Alarmingly, it’s estimated that 80% of recalled children’s products remain in homes after a recall.

Some of the statistics in the research could be faulty since in late 2008 the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act was passed. This turned voluntary safety standards for children’s products into federal mandatory standards, “To look at the effectiveness of these standards, it would take time,” said Scott Wolfson of the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

What this means for you

One reason children’s products are more difficult to insure is that the statute of limitations to bring a lawsuit is much longer for children than adults. Typically, children have to their 18th birthday plus an additional two or three years to file a lawsuit. This is why claims-made policies are not a good fit for businesses that manufacturers, importers or distributors of children’s products. 

Source: Irina Gonzalez. “The Surprising Products Injuring Thousands of Kids Every Year.” 15 March 2017.
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