Article Text

Download PDFPDF

Hazardous children’s products on the Australian and US market 2011–2017: an empirical analysis of child-related product safety recalls
  1. Catherine M Niven1,
  2. Ben Mathews2,
  3. James E Harrison3,
  4. Kirsten Vallmuur4,5
  1. 1Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation and School of Public Health and Social Work, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
  2. 2Faculty of Law, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
  3. 3College of Medicine and Public Health, Flinders University, Bedford Park, South Australia, Australia
  4. 4Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation and School of Public Health and Social Work, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
  5. 5Jamieson Trauma Institute, Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, Metro North Hospital and Health Service, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Catherine M Niven, Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation and School of Public Health and Social Work, Queensland University of Technology, Kelvin Grove, QLD 4059, Australia; c.niven{at}hdr.qut.edu.au

Abstract

Objective While there is evidence that unsafe children’s products are entering the Australian market, with increasing product safety recalls, no research has examined the nature of recalls or their trends over time. This research analyses Australian and US child-related product safety recall data to better understand the frequency and nature of unsafe children’s products, emerging hazard trends and cross-jurisdictional similarities and differences. Results can inform improved childhood injury prevention policy and regulation strategies in Australia.

Method Empirical analysis of child-related product safety recalls in Australia and the USA over the period 2011–2017.

Results Cross-jurisdictional comparison revealed similarities in Australia and the USA, with over 80% of recalled products occurring in four industry segments (toys/games, household furniture/furnishings, clothing and sports equipment) and a common leading hazard of choking. Australia and the USA also had a similar number of child-related recalls over the study period (Australia: 652, USA: 668). Disparate trends included a 21% decrease in US child-related recalls over the study period, with most recalled products still complying with mandated safety requirements. In contrast, Australian child-related recalls increased by 88% over the study period, with the majority of recalled products failing to comply with mandated safety requirements. Based on US child-related recall data, the leading cause of injuries was the child falling, the most severe injuries related to furniture/furnishings and the most frequent injuries related to sports equipment.

Conclusion Analysing recall data provides new insights into hazardous children’s products. Cross-jurisdictional comparison of data on recalls highlights disparities and indicates a need for reforms to improve regulation of children’s products in Australia.

  • legislation
  • regulation
  • fall
  • coding systems
  • surveillance
  • child

This is an open access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited, appropriate credit is given, any changes made indicated, and the use is non-commercial. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/.

View Full Text

Statistics from Altmetric.com

Footnotes

  • Contributors CMN designed the study, conducted the coding and analysis and drafted the manuscript. KV conceptualised the study and together with BM provided supervision to the first author and made substantial contributions to the design of the study and revision of the manuscript. JEH revised and made substantial contributions to the manuscript.

  • Funding This work was supported by an Australian Research Discovery Grant (DP170103136).

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Ethics approval This process did not require ethics committee approval as it analyses publicly available, nonidentifying data (NHMRC 2015).

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data availability statement Data are available on reasonable request.

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.