If this past year has taught us anything, it’s that tragedy can happen to anyone, without warning, at any time. Because my company helps people who have faced all sorts of tragedies – catastrophic injuries, life-altering emotional trauma, the sudden loss of a loved one – my team has seen what these situations can do to the course of a family’s life.
It’s especially heartbreaking when tragedy involves an infant or a child. I’m not trying to be a bummer on a Tuesday morning, but last week’s recall of Fisher-Price’s Rock ’n Glide Soothers has me thinking about how often supposedly safe baby products are anything but.
Fisher-Price recalled 120,000 Rock ’n Glide Soothers after the product was linked to at least four infant deaths. The Consumer Product Safety Commission noted that one of the infants was sleeping in the Rock ’n Glide when she turned on her side and the cushion restricted her breathing – a major flaw that you’d think would have been extensively tested out before this product ever hit the market. There was a similar recall two years ago involving millions of Fisher-Price Rock ‘n Play Sleepers after more than 30 babies died after rolling over in them and suffocating. While Fisher-Price did the right thing by removing these dangerous products from the market, it doesn’t change the fact that dozens of families are grieving the loss of their children because of preventable design defect.
A few months ago, a congressional report revealed several baby food brands contained dangerously high levels of toxic metals – namely mercury, lead, cadmium, and arsenic, which have all been found to negatively affect babies’ brain development, damage the nervous system, and cause chronic diseases. In fact, arsenic is ranked number one among environmental substances that pose the most significant potential threat to human health. It’s mind boggling and frankly appalling that it has been found in baby food. Who knows how many families have been and will be impacted?
Unfortunately, these kinds of preventable situations occur again and again, and sometimes they hit close to home. That’s why we must try to be mindful of what someone could potentially be enduring as they cope — and understanding that they may not readily talk about some of those things. When needed, getting the assistance of a professional can be a helping hand that makes a world of a difference.
And if you know anyone with an infant, please give them a call to see if one of these Fisher-Price products is in their home and ensure they have heard about the recall. You could be saving a life.
A West Point graduate where he served as captain and military aviator, John Bair continues his commitment to our country through his efforts within the settlement planning industry. He has represented families of victims lost in the Flight 3407 crash, offered pro bono services to the families of 9/11 victims and drafted the first consumer protection bill for plaintiffs (H.R. 3699).