From faulty inclined sleepers to unsafe cribs, the infant product category has been on the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s (CPSC) priority list for as long as we can remember. Now, the latest products under scrutiny are infant nursing pillows.
The CPSC this month issued a warning that infant nursing pillows can be deadly when misused. The agency says infants should never fall asleep on nursing pillows or other lounging pads as these products may suffocate children who are left alone with them. In one recent case, a three-month-old Oregon girl was found dead, face down, on a baby pillow. It was later determined she passed away from positional asphyxia.
This is just one of many reported incidents. Between 2012 and 2018, the CPSC found at least 28 deaths a year directly related to these products and had warned parents several times about incorrectly using them. The CPSC is now launching a full investigation.
What This Means For Manufacturers In This Category:
As the probe unfolds, all nursing pillow manufacturers will be under the CPSC’s microscope. Companies should expect new rules and regulations from the agency and to be prepared to manufacture under new standards.
How To Prepare:
Follow the investigation. This one may be obvious, but it’s crucial. It’s essential to follow the CPSC’s investigation to stay updated on any new advancements that may impact your company. Awareness and proactivity will allow you to control the situation and implement any changes to your processes to prevent future recalls.
Conduct your own internal investigation. This is perhaps one of the most challenging years we’ve ever experienced. Employees are scarce, and companies are stretched thin. Ask yourself – are appropriate materials being used? Are all rules and regulations obeyed up and down the supply chain? If not, what can the company do to ensure everything is being done right?
Protect Consumers. Look into what more your company can be doing to inform consumers of the proper use of your products – even if it means mentioning risks. This may not only protect you from litigation but also show your customers you care about their safety.
Update your crisis and recall plans. Re-evaluate your recall and crisis plans and ensure they’re up-to-date. If you find your company in a recall, being prepared and ready to implement your crisis plan almost certainly will protect you in litigation and mitigate reputational damage.
By taking these precautions, infant-product manufacturers can remain confident and prepared. And if a recall or investigation of your product does occur, you’ll be able to manage it well enough to satisfy regulators, protect consumers, and avoid the painful cost of litigation.