Believe it or not, there are still plenty of baby products on the market, in our homes, and in the chubby fists and puckered mouths of our little ones that are downright hazardous. And, I am not talking just about an item from which that with much concentrated effort an unlucky young one might be able to pry off a chunk on which he or she may choke. No, I am talking about baby products that are dangerous when used as intended.
Just this month, a local news crew in Pittsburgh found that there was measurable levels of lead in a number of baby products being sold in the region. This is even though child health experts warn that babies should not be exposed to any levels of lead.
Talking about the lead-containing baby products that include baby bottles, bath drops. pacifiers, and feeding nipples, Dr. Ronald Voorhees, a Pittsburgh public health professor and former acting director of the Allegheny County Health Department, said, “Even very low levels of lead can interfere with proper brain development. Our goal is to have zero lead exposure for kids.”
Agreeing with Voorhees, the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Dr. Dana Best added, "The brain damage caused by lead exposure is permanent and irreversible.”
What makes this specific case even more confounding is that the products were made and sold by some very well-known retailers such as Walmart, the manufacturer and seller of a lead-containing baby bottle. "The safety of our customers is a top priority and we are absolutely committed to providing customers with safe products and always enforcing government standards rigorously when it comes to product safety," said the giant retailer in a written statement. And, to be fair, the baby bottle in question did indeed meet government standards.
Local parents were understandably worried about the WTAE news team’s discovery. “It's not safe for me, not safe for them. Shouldn't be in a product they're going to have in their mouth,” said one unhappy father.
However, do not just be concerned with new products. According to a news team out of Lafayette, LA, there are many dangers lurking in the used baby product market as well. The investigative journalists of KATC found that the 400-something baby products that are recalled each year are often still available on sites such as Craigslist and eBay long after the unpurchased ones have been pulled from the shelves.
Just in the Lafayette area alone, KATC found that there were at least 50 Bumbo seats lacking safety belts being sold online, while the Nap Nanny, an item that had been recalled following the deaths of five babies, was likewise being offered on the internet.
In talking to the sellers of such items, the news team learned that they were shocked to learn that their items had been recalled. And, that is probably the primary reason there will always be dangerous baby products being sold. There simply is no way for every owner of a product to be notified when his or her product has been recalled.
When the time comes for you to purchase baby products, remember that safest way to do this is to go with a respected and established dealer of new baby products.