Cords in a nursery present a strangulation hazard that this agency has been grappling with for many years. Earlier this month we announced an education and public awareness campaign jointly with the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association to warn parents and caregivers about this hazard. The campaign focuses on baby monitors, but hopefully its impact will extend to all cords in the nursery.
As both a commissioner and a parent, I am pleased to see the agency participate in this cooperative campaign. It addresses a real problem in a comprehensive manner. One alternative would have been to conduct a series of “recalls to warn,” offering consumers a warning label to remind them of the hazard. We tried such a recall last year. As you would expect, the consumer reaction was pretty underwhelmed. A “recall” that consumers do not respond to can easily lead to “recall fatigue.” Not just offering a label but a comprehensive, cooperative campaign to help parents and caregivers understand, recognize and avoid the hazard is a much better way to advance safety.
I hope that this campaign provides a model for future agency action in dealing with similar situations.