Midwest-CBK, a Minnesota-based toy distributor, issued a recall of more than 20,000 baby rattle socks sold all over the United States and Canada. The baby rattle recall applies to socks sold throughout the 2017 and 2018 holiday seasons, but the dangers of the product is only now gaining national attention due to a recent Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) report.
A Delayed Public Report to Consumers
Due to the government furlough, the CPSC – a federal agency – was unable to publicly report on many recalls, even though consumers were reporting product defects. Once active after the government furlough ended, the CPSC had to work through a backlog of reports before finally announcing this baby rattle recall on March 28, 2019.
The distributor issued a largely ignored independent recall in January. But the danger of the baby rattle socks did not gain national attention until recently.
Information about the Novelty Sock Baby Rattle Recall
Midwest-CBK imported and distributed the Chinese-manufactured socks to boutique gift shops throughout the country from October 2017 to December 2018. The socks were sold in sizes 0 to 12 months. The recall came after Midwest received a report that the rattle had detached and posed a choking hazard.
The novelty socks have sewn-on attachments on the toe for a rattle effect. The rattle is not designed to be detachable, but reportedly can detach and pose a choking hazard. The socks involved in the baby rattle recall are Midwest Gift brand and will have one of the following characters attached as a rattle to the toe of the sock:
For small children, the choking hazard could be deadly. With the rattle on the toe of the socks, they are clearly designed to be played with. Further, they are likely to be chewed on by babies who would likely be lying supine to get the toy in their mouths. Luckily, the distributor recalled the socks quickly. So far, there are no reports of serious injury or death related to the product.
Many of the socks are holiday-themed and are red, green, and white. Consumers also bought many of the non-seasonal variety which may still be in use and may be endangering children at this very moment.
What to Do If You Bought the Recalled Socks
Midwest is accepting returns of the recalled socks, and the CPSC is soliciting incident reports from the public. At this time, there has only been one reported incident of the rattle detaching, and there are no injuries reported. However, if your baby has been harmed by the socks in this baby rattle recall, you should speak with a defective products attorney to learn more about your rights.
If you currently own the socks, the risk just isn’t worth it. Take the socks away from your child immediately.
Choking Hazard Prevention Tips
Responsible parents take meticulous steps to remove choking hazards from a baby’s reach and have a reasonable expectation of safety from products manufactured for babies. Unfortunately, the socks in this baby rattle recall present a very real and immediate danger to American infants.
Minimize choking risks in your home with these tips:
- Never let children eat while lying down, walking around, or playing.
- Cut hard food into small pieces for children under five, including hot dogs, apples, grapes, cheese, popcorn, or marshmallows.
- Never let a child eat unsupervised.
- Get on your child’s level to identify small objects that a child could swallow. What you may miss at full height will be easier to spot if you try to see a room as your child does.
- Babies and toddlers have lightning-quick reflexes and mischievous minds. Never leave a small object that could present a choking hazard in reach of a child even for a second.
- Swallowed magnets turn into slow-motion bullets if a child swallows more than one. Keep all magnets, including refrigerator magnets, out of reach of small children.
- Children love to tear apart foam and packaging and can choke on the pieces. Discard or repair any foam-filled toy that breaks and exposes its filling to little fingers.
The Dangerous Toy Hall of Shame
Of all consumer products, one would think products manufactured and marketed to children would be under the closest scrutiny. In the same way the socks in this baby rattle recall put infants in danger, other toys throughout the years have endangered American children.
Everyone’s heard about the dangers of lawn darts (who ever thought that was a good idea?), but some of the following children’s product recalls may surprise you.
- Aqua Dots– Released and later recalled in 2007- these plastic dots were supposed to fuse together when sprayed with water. When ingested, however, they released the compound GHB, a.k.a. the date rape drug.
- Barbie and Tanner– Also from 2007, the classic doll came with a toy dog and pet-care accessories. The scooper tool for “cleaning up” after the dog had a magnet that came dislodged easily, posing a choking hazard.
- Buckyballs– Though never directly marketed to children, these spherical rare-earth magnets were very popular with kids in 2009. Over 1,500 kids went to the ER that year after swallowing multiple magnets.
- Easy Bake Oven– Again in 2007, the toy ovens caused severe burns when small fingers were trapped inside the miniature appliance. One little girl was so badly burned she required a partial finger amputation.
- Fidget Spinners– A very popular toy in 2017, these toys could break apart into small, pieces causing a choking hazard.
- Hoverboards– The “it-toy” of 2015, these wheeled toys could burst into flames if left on the charger too long. A Pennsylvania toddler died that year when the toy caused a house fire.
- Nerf Crossbows– Stunningly, Nerf marketed a miniature crossbow, the “Zombie Strike Dreadbolt Crossbow”, in 2017 despite a 1970’s toy crossbow being the type of toy that originally prompted the modern choking hazard warning label on all of today’s toys.
Questions About Defective Products?
Product liability is a multi-faceted and complex area of law. The prevalence of dangerous items like these baby rattle socks can make it difficult to pin down liability. Regardless, American consumers should be able to rely on federal agencies to regulate and report on dangerous products.
This year, the government furlough badly delayed the national warning system, and sadly, many families remained in the dark, and at risk, for months due to potentially dangerous products. While there have been no injuries reported thus far, it is too soon to tell whether the socks in this baby rattle recall have caused harm to any families.
Parents have a right to expect safety when purchasing baby items. If these novelty socks or any other product has harmed your child, contact an experienced defective products attorney to discuss your options. Call now or submit the online contact form to learn more.