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The 2023 Recall List: A Look at Some of the Most Hazardous Products

Although U.S. consumers buy products on the assumption that they are safe, potentially dangerous items often make it past regulators and into retailers. In 2023, the year began and ended with recalls and warnings involving products that can be deadly for children.

Here’s a look at some products recalled last year that consumers should be sure to avoid.

Infant sleep products

Infant sleep products including baby loungers, bassinets, high chairs marketed for sleep, infant swings and crib bumpers have all been recalled in the past year. Yet many such products continue to be sold online despite failing to meet safety requirements.

So-called infant loungers are dangerous in that they have pillowy sides that can pose a risk of suffocation. It’s an issue stressed by the Consumer Product Safety Commission in its final warning of the year, with the agency urging against using such products still found to be selling online despite a 2021 rule that effectively banned them.

Baby sleepers recalled after more infant deaths


 The CPSC issued the same warning about another baby lounge product in August after the manufacturer refused to recall it. Yet even when a company agrees to a recall, the news does may not reach its intended audience, in some cases with lethal consequences. 

Fisher-Price in January of 2023 re-announced its recall of 4.7 million Rock ‘n Play Sleepers, as at least eight deaths linked to the sleepers had occurred since the product’s initial recall four years ago. Roughly 100 deaths are tied to the recalled sleepers, which sold at stores nationwide including Amazon, Target and Walmart from September 2009 through April 2019.

Kids2 also re-announced its recall of 694,000 rocking sleepers, reporting that at least four more infants had died in the product since it was first recalled nearly four years earlier. A total of 15 infant fatalities are linked to the Kids2 Rocking Sleepers. 

Magnetic ball sets

The month of December also saw a slew of warnings about Magnetic ball sets, with the CPSC issuing nine separate alerts and two recalls in December alone involving magnets that present a risk of serious injury or death if ingested by children. 

“When high-powered magnets are swallowed, the ingested magnets can attract to each other, or to another metal object, and become lodged in the digestive system. This can result in perforations, twisting and/or blockage of the intestines, infection, blood poisoning and death,” the agency warned.

Safety regulators estimate that 2,400 magnet ingestions were treated in hospital emergency rooms from 2017 through 2021. The CPSC is aware of seven deaths involving the magnets, including two outside the U.S.

Water beads

In a similar vein, federal safety officials, advocacy groups and some lawmakers have been sounding the alarm about water beads — colorful, water-absorbing balls sold as toys that can be potentially lethal if swallowed. Major retailers including Amazon, Target and Walmart recently said they would no longer sell water beads marketed to children. 

Often purchased for older siblings, expanded water beads have been found in the stomachs, intestines, ears, noses and even lungs of infants and toddlers, according to Consumer Reports. Waters beads were behind roughly 7,800 visits to emergency rooms from 2016 to 2022, the CPSC estimates.

Child holding water beads, or expanded hydrophilic polymer.

U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission

Electronic scooters and hoverboards

Hospital ERs have also seen a spike in injuries related to e-scooters, hoverboards and e-bikes, with at least 233 deaths tied to the products from 2017 through 2022, according to the CPSC. Citing lithium-batteries that can overheat and start fires, hoverboards were subject to two recalls in 2023, while products from at least two electric scooter companies were recalled due to fall and injury hazards.

Future Motion in September recalled 300,000 electric skateboards because they can stop balancing the rider if the board’s limits are exceeded, posing a crash hazard that left four people dead between 2019 and 2021 and injuries including paralysis and traumatic brain injury, according to the company’s recall notice. 

Bath toys

Roughly 7.5 million Baby Shark bath toys were recalled in June after the distributor became aware of 12 reports of kids falling or sitting onto the products, resulting in impalement injuries, lacerations and puncture wounds, including to children’s genital, anorectal and facial areas. 

Air fryers

About 2 million Cosori Air Fryers were recalled in February after the company heard of 205 cases of the fryers overheating, melting and even catching fire. The reports included 10 minor burn injuries, and 23 incidents caused property damage. A separate recall in September involved Secura air fryers linked to nine reports of the fryers catching fire, burning and smoking. 

Gun safes

Some 61,000 biometric gun safes sold nationwide were recalled in October after the shooting death of a 12-year-old boy. In nearly 40 cases, safe owners reported the Fortress Safe product had been accessed by unpaired fingers. 

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