As long as there is baby gear, there will be items that malfunction, are poorly made, or have overlooked dangers. The Graco stroller recall was prompted when babies were getting their necks stuck under the tray. Four babies died, five were injured, all weren't strapped in right.
Some things are out of mom's hands, but in the case of the Graco strollers, many question who really is at fault -- and how much should we lean on a company or product when it comes to our children's safety.
I'm sure the Graco instruction manual said to strap the child in, every single time; in fact, let's check it out ...
The warning is there. Failure to follow these warnings and the assembly instructions could result in serious injury or death. There is also a step-by-step picture explanation of how to use the straps, again mentioning that they need to be snug so the child can't slide out.
I talked to a friend about this, and she mentioned how her daughter fights her so much getting into the stroller that she once injured her finger trying to get her in. If the baby slipped down and gotten hurt right then, I could definitely see questioning the design, but at the same time, she wouldn't have suffocated with Mommy right there, unless she got terribly stuck, right?
So, the instructions are incredibly clear -- watch your baby in the stroller, buckle them in securely and snugly so they can't slide down. It states repeatedly that not following the directions can get your child seriously or fatally hurt. The recall mentioned that the infants who were unfortunately killed or injured weren't buckled in right. In order to suffocate, unless they were wedged in there and their parent couldn't free them, can we assume the parent wasn't watching their kid? How could this happen?
We've had plenty of things like this ... Bumbo seats, for example. One big argument against them is the risk of head injury because people put their babies in the Bumbo on a table, counter, chair, or bed even though the instructions say never to do that. A Bumbo should only be used on the floor. Common sense makes that pretty clear, too.
Where do you draw the line? Should Graco have recalled these strollers? Where does it stop being the company's fault and start being a common sense issue, or one of "READ THE MANUAL" yet again?
Images via Graco Baby Instruction Manual