Look Out for Dangerous Products

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Since her son was born, Monique Sock has bought a lot of baby gear. But what she didn't do is mail in the manufacturers' product registration cards so she'd be notified of any recalls.

Monique says, "I didn't want them to use it to market to me or send me junk mail."

And Monique's not the only one who doesn't send in registration cards. A Consumer Reports National Research Center survey found more than a third of people never do.

Don Mays with Consumer Reports warns, "Being aware of recall information can be a matter of life and death. There have been dozens of deaths and hundreds of injuries associated with recalled products."

Last year the Consumer Product Safety Commission announced 428 recalls- everything from lawnmowers to Rachael Ray teakettles to flammable women's robes. The majority were children's products - cribs, strollers, and car seats.

Mays says, "It's really important to fill out product registration cards for all products. You don't have to fill out personal or financial information. Just give them your contact information."

In fact, the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act now forbids companies that make infant and toddler products from using the information "for any purpose … other than … a product recall or safety alert."

Some companies like Costco are taking extra steps, like maintaining purchase records so they can contact customers directly about recalls. Monique says from now on she is going to make a point of sending in product registration cards.

Monique says, "Knowing that a manufacturer would let me know if there was a problem with the product, I'm more than happy to give them my information."

If you want to check for recall information on all sorts of products, including children's products and cars, go to recalls-dot-gov. It's a "one-stop shop" for government recalls. The site also has a free
cell-phone application.

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