Our product liability attorneys want to make sure all parents of young children are aware of a recent recall that impacts nearly 40,000 children.

It’s a stroller recall, due to a design flaw that could cause severe injuries to children, including amputation.

The recall was issued in both the United States and Canada by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and Health Canada and covers a brand of three and four-wheeled strollers made by Kolcraft Enterprises Inc., a company based in Chicago.

The exact name of the stroller is Contours Options.

According to the safety commission, both children’s and parents’ fingers have been caught in the handle of the stroller, particularly when the user is trying to lock or unlock the hinge that is meant to adjust the handlebar. This is more than a pinch we’re talking about. Injuries reported have included deep cuts, lacerations – and even amputations.

So far, just five injuries have been reported to the commission, with three of those being children whose fingers were literally sliced off. Another two cases involved adults whose fingers were either deeply cut or smashed. Those are just the cases that were reported to date.

It’s likely, however, that given the large number of strollers that were sold, we’ll be seeing more of these cases in the future.

Most product recalls have a return rate of somewhere between 15 and 30 percent, which means people may be likely to use them, even though they’ve been recalled.

In fact, according to a report recently released by USA Today, while recalls for children’s products were down about 25 percent last year, very rarely are those recalls heeded. What’s more, while the actual number of recalls is down, the number of child injuries has gone up by 7 percent. What that tells us is that some companies may not be issuing recalls when they should be.

The recall of children’s products makes up about more than a third of all recalls. In fact, of the 310 total recalls last year, more than 120 of them were products made for children. Those included recalls of bunk beds and infant video monitors that resulted in deaths.

The low return rates are often the result of a company’s inability to get the word out to parents. Many companies have started including customer contact cards, which is a step in the right direction, but it’s still not producing the results it should be. Products purchased online generally have the best return results.

Consumers and potential victims of defective products need to know that a recall does not absolve a company of legal liability when their product injures or kills a child.

With regard to the defective strollers, it’s not clear yet whether there have been any personal injury lawsuits filed, but it’s likely they could be on the horizon.

The Kolcraft Contours Option strollers were made in China and sold in child specialty stores across the country and online for about $160 each.

Repair kits are being offered, though parents are encouraged to simply stop using the product immediately. And if your child has been injured, an experienced lawyer can help.

The Ferraro Law Firm provides comprehensive legal services, including product liability cases. Call (888) 554-2030 for a free and confidential consultation. Offices in Miami, Washington, D.C., and New York City.

Additional Resources:
Recalls of unsafe kids products down but often ignored, By Jayne O’Donnell, USA Today

More Blog Entries:
FDA Asks for More Power to Halt Sale of Defective Products, March 8, 2012, Product Liability Lawyers Blog