Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Recalls, recalls, recalls.

Either this has been a record year for baby product recalls, or I simply never paid attention to these recalls before Jack was born. Since December, we have been through stroller recalls (amputation risk), crib recalls (entrapment/injury risk), OTC baby cold and cough medicine recalls (quality control issues), toy and high chair recalls (general injury issues), baby sling recalls (suffocation risks), formula recalls (bug parts - gah!)  and now teething tablet recalls (quality control issues).

Before Jack was born, I knew that having a baby was going to be a lot of work.  Parents are more than happy to tell an aching, exhausted, swollen and sore pregnant woman that she should enjoy her rest and relaxation now before the baby comes because once he's born, the eighteen-year rollercoaster of horror really begins.  (Note to parents:  don't do this to pregnant women.  It's just mean.  We all know that when you have a watermelon-sized baby kickboxing your bladder, you really aren't resting, relaxing, or doing anything other than trying to make it through the day without falling down or peeing yourself. Let the poor mom-to-be have her delusions).   Parents were happy to tell me all about the crazy, sleepless nights of the newborn stage.  They shared stories of teething nightmares (as an aside, Jack is working on two more teeth on the top.  For those keeping score at home, that will be six top teeth and two bottom teeth - he's going to be one funny looking Jack O'Lantern if the bottom teeth don't catch up soon).  They told tales of inopportune diaper blowouts and public toddler meltdowns.  New parents, seasoned veterans, and everyone in between were all lining up to regale pregnant me with all of these things which make you realize that whether you believe in God or evolution or something in between, there's a reason that babies so darn cute.

But nobody warned me that I'd have to second-guess every single purchase I made.  No one suggested that the stroller that I spent hours agonizing over - researching, reading the reviews, taking test-drives around Babies-R-Us - could be the next finger deathtrap.  It never occurred to me that what I was giving to my feverish little baby to relieve the aches and pains of his first real sickness would be subject to a vague recall that would make me wonder whether I had done more harm than good in medicating him.  I would never have guessed that I'd listen to the daily news with a fervor I normally reserve for the weeks preceding an election to find out whether I have a potentially unsafe toy/drug/chair/carseat in my house.

As parents, we put our trust in a lot of other people:  our pediatricians, our daycare professionals, the experts who write the parenting books that we spend hours reading and learning from.  With this full year of recalls across the spectrum, it is hard to know who to trust when it comes to the items we buy for our babies.  On the one hand, I want to say that I grew up with lead painted toys, undoubtedly dangerous cribs, and I think I probably had my own set of Jarts by the time I was four, and I think I turned out okay.  But on the other hand, I'm Jack's mom.  I want to give him the whole world and keep him from all harm.

I'd write more, but I have to go hug my baby and wrap him in bubble wrap.  Thanks for reading!



Eschelle said...

the recalls the last few years are horrific...

Lindsey said...

Thank you for posting this!! I had heard nothing about the teething tablet recall! I used the link you supplied and BOTH bottles of tablets I have were part of the recalled bunch!!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting .. I had not heard anything about the recall and probably wouldn't have if I hadn't seen it on here .. will look as soon as I get home to see if the tablets I have are on the list, will probably throw them away even if they aren't!