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Lacerating Sports Gear to Flammable Beds: Product Recalls in Review, November 2011

November was a relatively tame month in terms of Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recalls. The CPSC announced just 21 product recalls, including one expansion of a previously announced refrigerator recall, for a grand total of 1.1 million product units.  By comparison, since 2004, the CPSC has issued an average of 29 recalls for over 4 million units during the months of November.


The biggest “OUCH” in November 2011 recalls goes to Under Armour (UA) for football helmet chin straps with sharp metal snaps that can (try not to cringe) cut another player on contact. At the time of recall, there were six reports of players being cut badly enough to require stitches.  As if football were not rough enough!

This recall, with 541,000 units, also accounts for half of all the products recalled last month. The chin straps were sold in both adult and youth sizes, so be sure to check your kids’ equipment bags immediately.


Only one other November recall topped 100,000 units, the Kidgets Animal Sock Top Slippers .  These slippers with a “sock top” are adorned with plush dog, lion and duck faces. They are sized for toddlers but have small eyes that can detach, posing a choking hazard.



The Children’s Product with the most injuries reported at the time of recall was a pair of girls’ KEDS tennis shoes.  Small metal stars that decorate the shoes are cute but the points are very sharp!  27 families reported cuts and scratches.

That number is high enough to suggest even a small amount of additional testing could have caught this problem.  That being said, it does appear Collective Brands, the maker of KEDS, pulled the product quickly. The shoes were sold in stores for five months, and recalled within one month of discontinuing sales.

The most contentious recall in November was actually not a recall at all… yet!  The CPSC filed suit against Brooklyn Sleep Products after discovering that the firm was selling mattresses that did not comply with the Flammable Fabrics Act (FFA) and the Consumer Product Safety Act (CPSA).  According to the CPSC, the firm committed violations even after it had been preliminarily enjoined from selling violative mattresses.

In November, a United States District Judge ordered Brooklyn Sleep Products to recall all mattresses, mattress sets or mattress pads sold to consumers that failed federal flammability tests.  The recall has not yet been officially announced.

This is not the first time Brooklyn Sleep Products has been caught violating health and safety standards.  In the spring of 2008, they were the subject of an NBC Dateline investigation that uncovered bedbugs, fungi and other contaminants in their mattresses. The CPSC investigations that led to last month’s judgment began shortly thereafter in 2008.

Other home-related product recalls in November 2011 included wardrobes, refrigerators and light-switches.  Additional children’s product recalls include Disney-branded trikes, magnetic sketch-boards, cribs and stuffed animal accessories. Lastly, for adults, there were heated jackets, climbing equipment, and battery cases for iPhones and iPods, among others.

For a complete list of the latest product recalls, including images and information on what to do if you own one of these products, visit


Jennifer P. Toney is founder and CEO at, a product safety and recall information hub for consumers, resellers and brands.  You can follow Jennifer on twitter @Jennifer_Toney and her company @WeMakeItSafer.


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