Parenting in the 21st century requires an extensive toolkit. Everything from booster seats to infant slings are necessities we rely on to make parenthood a little easier. It's a fact of life, though, that these awesome products can sometimes have a defect. That's why it makes sense to take a moment to consider what product registrations can do to ensure the safety of your child. After you and your spouse have assembled all the gifts from your baby shower, you're left with a stack of boxes, packaging, and product registration cards. While your instinct may be to send it all to the recycling bin, you might want to hold off on sending those product registration cards to their reincarnation. The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has strict guidelines for manufacturers operating and selling products in the United States. Here's an overview.
Relax, Your Information is Private: The postage-paid forms that accompany your child care products can induce fear. Fear that your private information will be used for marketing purposes, or worse - be sold to third parties. You can rest assured knowing federal regulations explicitly prohibit your information being used for anything other than facilitating a recall or issuing a safety alert.
Contact Information Only: Manufacturers are required to obtain your basic contact information, nothing more. Your name, physical address, email address, and telephone number are sufficient enough to fulfill their duty.
Products Protected: The CPSC only regulates specific product categories. We've compiled a list of what categories are protected below. Products protected by the CPSC will also have the words 'PRODUCT REGISTRATION FOR SAFETY ALERT OR RECALL ONLY' on the top page of the form to ease your apprehensions as well.
- Full-size cribs and non-full-size cribs
- Toddler beds
- High chairs, booster seats, and hook-on chairs
- Bath seats Gates and other enclosures for confining a child
- Play yards
- Stationary activity centers
- Infant carriers Strollers, Walkers and Swings
- Bassinets and cradles Children's folding chairs
- Changing tables
- Infant bouncers
- Infant bathtubs
- Bed rails
- Infant slings
Registering After the Fact: Threw your product registration cards in the recycle bin already? No problem. Manufacturers are required to provide alternate ways to register, such as a website or email. Kids in Danger, an organization dedicated to child product safety, has an extensive list of websites organized by manufacturer.
Be Proactive:Filling out your registration cards is only the beginning. You can be proactive by signing up for recall alerts with the CPSC and have recall announcements sent directly to your inbox. This extra layer of protection can be vital if you move and forget to inform the manufacturer of your new address. If you encounter a defective product, the CPSC encourages you to report unsafe products to their dedicated website.
Taking Safety to the Next Level: We understand that child safety is a parent's number one concern. Au pairs from AuPairCare are trained to identify safety hazards in the home. If it seems overwhelming to find them all yourself, your au pair will be happy to partner with you even if that just means taking the kids to the playground so you have time to fill out all those registration cards!