Product Recalls: Where to Find the Info Fast!

By Linsey Knerl

Your baby picks up that secondhand toy your friend gifted you and begins picking the paint from the surface. Quick! What do you do? Worry about lead? Call the doctor? Sweep it up and call it a day? There is a surefire way to be certain your child’s toy is still safe, and it’s called the CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission.)

A simple check on the home page of the CPSC’s Web site will tell you the most recent news in toy recalls. Not sure if it’s been recalled lately? You can check the site’s archives or do a search by product type to get the scoop on anything you may have missed. Sign up for the automatic email list, and be notified of new recalls and updates for any number of products (or just pick the ones you want to hear about most.)

The CPSC is great for getting the dirt on bad toys and household items, but that’s just the beginning! Car seats, for example, are covered under a completely separate government agency, and are recalled through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Now that’s a mouthful! Their recall page is updated regularly with recalls covering car seats, cars, school buses, and tires.

All food recalls (including undeclared allergen alerts) are available on the FDA’s Web site. It includes any edible product, with the exception of meat, dairy and eggs (which are handled by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.)

Confused yet? Don’t be. To keep things simple, bookmark the mother of all recall sites, www.recalls.gov. This site is a clearinghouse for the others, offering all of the latest product recalls under one roof, and giving busy moms a one-stop shop for their product safety concerns. (They even have updates in Spanish!)

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