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9.30.2007

blame the designers, not china

Last week, the Consumer Product Safety Commission announced that baby supply company Kolcraft Enterprises Inc. is recalling more than 425,000 play yards after a 10-month old boy was strangled. The boy was inside the "Sesame Beginnings Travel Play Yard" and the restraint strap from the elevated changing table hung down into the main play area and strangled him. The company is now recalling a dozen different types of play yards with changing table attachments and a similar type of strap.

This is terrible and tragic, and the products definitely need to be recalled for the safety of children everywhere. So why exactly does this article go out of its way to mention that the play yards were manufactured in China? It's just a sentence conveniently stuck in there, for your information. Funny, because the CPSC specifically points out that strangulation hazard is posed by a serious design flaw. What does that have to do with where the product is manufactured? Look, Chinese manufacturers make their fair share of crappy stuff, but this time the fault lies clearly in the design. I guess these days, everybody is trying to trace all defective and dangerous products to China in some way. Because I'm willing to bet if those play yards were manufactured in Iowa or something, they wouldn't have bothered to mention it at all.