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Government Saves 140,000 Children From...One Faulty Zipper

But... choking!

ZipperLaputin / DreamstimeFrom the Consumer Product Safety Commission's daily update (boldface mine):

Recall Date: March 11, 2015

Kid’s Korner Children’s Zipper Hooded Sweatshirts Recalled by Kroger Due to Choking Hazard

Hazard: The sweatshirt zipper pull can detach, posing a choking hazard to young children.  

Remedy: Refund

Consumers should immediately take the sweatshirt away from young children and return it to the place of purchase for a full refund. Consumers without a sales receipt will be refunded current retail price.

Recall Details

Units: About 140,000

Description: This recall involves Kids Korner brand boy’s, girl’s and toddler’s cotton/poly blend fleece zipper hooded sweatshirts with a front zipper, two front pockets and knit ribbing around the wrists and waist. The sweatshirts were sold in 62 different prints and solid colors in infant, toddler to children’s size 4.

Incidents/Injuries: Kroger has received one report of a zipper pull detaching from the sweatshirt. No injuries have been reported.

Sold at: Dillons, Fred Meyer, King Soopers Marketplace, Kroger, Smith’s and Fry’s Marketplace and other stores nationwide from June 2014 through February 2015 for between $8 and $10.

Clearly, no price is too high if it saves a child from the looming menace of a 1 in 140,000 chance that a zipper pull might detach.

Photo Credit: Dreamstime

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  • Fist of Etiquette||

    I blame the Amish. Or maybe credit them.

  • WTF||

    Anyone dressing their kid in one of these sweatshirts after the recall date will be found guilty of endangering their child, and said child shall be removed into the custody of CPS.

  • Warren||

    Clearly, no price is too high if it saves a child from the looming menace of a 1 in 140,000 chance that a zipper pull might detach.

    Why do you believe the odds are so low? Seems more likely 140,000 sweatshirts are being recalled because all of them are likely to detach.

  • pan fried wylie||

    Right? One person reported a detached pull. A thousand other people just tossed the $8 piece of shit in the trash because they have better things to do with their time.

  • Copernicus||

    This is a fair point. The better question would be: has an analysis of the zippers being used show them to be consistently flawed. This is certainly not the hill I would want to die on.

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    My favorite sweatshirt has a detached zipper. Irritating? Yes. Dangerous? No.

  • Charles Easterly||

    Did it let you win at any sports, Playa?

    Adam's let him win: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LW2O-BM860o

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    That's what pliers are for

  • Rich||

  • Zeb||

    I find a paperclip works just fine.

  • Rich||

    You're such a Goth, Zeb.

  • Zeb||

    Mostly I just ruin all of my clothes doing dirty things, so I don't get new clothes until they are really useless.

  • Robert||

    Yeah, that's the thing. There must be a hundred household items of a similar shape & size that a child could choke on, but because the zipper separation is a kind of defect, and because the sweater is a product for children, it comes in for this kind of att'n.

  • ||

    And every time a zipper pull detaches that means a kid is going to attempt to eat it, choke, and die.

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    A lot of people don't know the difference between choking and gagging. A zipper pull isn't going to block the airway sufficiently enough to kill anyone.

  • ||

    A zipper pull isn't going to block the airway sufficiently enough to kill anyone.

    Presumably the child doesn't put it in it's mouth in order to bring it to rest in their lungs (but they're kids so who the fuck knows). Whether it blocks the airway or not, the trachea (or any other part of the cardiopulmonary system) is not the most ideal place for it. Even in the digestive system I think the official medical standpoint is "Best avoided. If possible."

  • ||

    Derp.

    Respiratory system.

  • ||

    Still, the zipper pull has to come off AND the kid has to try to eat it, AND it has to go down the wrong hole in order for any gagging or choking to result.

  • pan fried wylie||

    The real danger is wearing one of these defective sweatshirts while playing with legos. Guaranteed choking-death statistic.

  • ||

    Kroger has received one report of a zipper pull detaching from the sweatshirt.

    Kroger as in the *grocery* store chain?

    If you can't pick up a quality hoodie in the same place you get your cold cuts, where the hell are you gonna go? How does the Goodwill or your local garbage dump shirk their responsibility to issue recalls?

  • ||

    We need to close the Goodwill loophole. For the children.

  • creech||

    Why is the government wasting its efforts on this? The far more dangerous threat - causing thousands of deaths each year - is Dihydrogen Monoxide. But no, no government ban on this probably because the Koch Brothers and kkkorporations and even U.S. Congressmen and 1% backed politicians such as Scott Walker and Rand Paul use it on a daily basis.

  • BuSab Agent||

    I've given it up for Lent.

  • Charles Easterly||

    This is why you should only drink rainwater as it falls from the sky, creech (and grain alcohol, of course).

    http://urbanlegends.about.com/.....n_dhmo.htm

  • ||

    Duh ... someone just discovered the Dihydrogen Monoxide joke ....

  • Zeb||

    Hydrogen hydroxide is a better and more informative name for water.

    And the joke is very old and tired. Yes some people are dumb and didn't pay attention in chemistry class.

  • Protagoronus||

    Yo, Firefly cast members Nathan Fillion and Alan Tudyk are crowdfunding a new show called Con Man. Funnel your outrage at Elizabeth Warren into something positive.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    "Government Saves 140,000 Children From...One Faulty Zipper"

    I'm tired of hearing about Ken Starr.

  • Rich||

    "Give that man a cigar!"

  • DannyH||

    Lenore, totally agree with where you are going with this in pointing out we as a culture are far to risk adverse when it comes to children.

    Though to play devil's advocate I work in Risk Management/Insurance and 140k at $8 to $10 retail would probably have caused the company less then $1 million to buy. Then on top of that they could probably get some sort of credit from the supplier who made the sweatshirts. It might be out there but not too far out there of a business decision to make. Obviously though this shouldn't be dedicated from on up high.

    I guess I'm saying I get where you go with this, but I don't think it's a strong example. But maybe that's just my Risk Management bias.

    Love your Blog and haven't seen the show yet but looking forward to it! Love #commonsense

  • ||

    Though to play devil's advocate I work in Risk Management/Insurance and 140k at $8 to $10 retail would probably have caused the company less then $1 million to buy. Then on top of that they could probably get some sort of credit from the supplier who made the sweatshirts. It might be out there but not too far out there of a business decision to make. Obviously though this shouldn't be dedicated from on up high.

    "How can my car depreciate before its first oil change?". A better question might be "Why do you have that insurance?"

    Seriously, they spent $1M, *one* zipper is *reported* detached and recall/refund is the sensible outcome? The issue isn't whether the business made a rational decision, the question is WTF are we doing that *that* is the rational decision?

  • Col. R C Dean||

    If you recalled every article of clothing that had a zipper that might detach, we wouldn't have zippers at all.

    That's whats stupid about this. Zippers detach. Its what they do. Its the kind of "risk" that a rational society shrugs off. Only in a lunatic society would a business go through a risk management exercise and issue a recall.

  • DannyH||

    Still though, even if not liable if someone makes a claim you will have to defend against it and lawyers aren't cheap.

    If the costs of the sweaters is $6 to kroger and likely they will get maybe $2 or something back from the manufacture it would cost $4 per return (plus costs of posting recall flyers, administering returns) so let's say $5. How many people will actually return? Maybe 10% to 20% max? So overall costs between $70k and $140k max.

    Likely people will see the recall and do the same thing we do and say, that's too much risk aversion, so they won't return the item but now the business has covered their asses. I think it makes sense for Kroger.

  • Zeb||

    The thing is, no one was going to be injured by the zipper pulls.

    The real problem is that suits like that don't get laughed out of court immediately. The world is full of choking hazards. If your child puts things in its mouth all the time, it is your job to make sure they don't choke on stuff. It is not possible to rid the world of such hazards.

  • Swiss Servator... Switzy!||

    I am going to eat my ARM certification if thinking like that ever catches hold.

  • DannyH||

    Hahah. Love it!

  • Dixon Sider||

    You mean an $8 hoodie isn't going to last forever? Next you're going to say something about personal responsibility. You monster.

  • Rich||

    The government should ban baby teeth.

    If it helps save just one child from choking in her sleep, aren't we obligated to try?

  • Zeb||

    And small pebbles, buttons, hard candies, dry beans... Basically everything solid that will fit through a 1" hole.

  • ||

    Basically everything solid that will fit through a 1" hole.

    Through the hole isn't the problem. Through a 2-3" hole but *not* or barely through a 1" hole is the problem.

    To be safe, we should just ban all objects less than 2-3" along any given axis or any that can be torn, abraded, or crushed down to that length.

  • Zeb||

    Then why are they worried about a zipper-pull? I'm just trying to follow CPSC reasoning. I really shouldn't, it will probably break my brain.

  • ||

    I really shouldn't, it will probably break my brain.

    It will. I didn't have a kid for three days before I figured out the 1" hole business is bullshit. As long as they weren't toxic, I've never been scared of the small objects. It's when the kid with no teeth crams a whole dinner roll into their mouth that I think choking might occur.

    Outlet covers blow my mind too. I don't know a kid under the age of 2, that is able to walk, that *can't* remove them. And you have to be extremely dedicated, even as an adult, to *kill* yourself with your bare hands, or even simple tools, and an outlet. I can't imagine kids were keeling over left and right to the point that the ends justify the means.

  • Zeb||

    I know I got a couple of shocks as a kid from being dumb with outlets. I learned my lesson.

  • Robert||

    I had a toy metal key set, and the outlet looked like a keyhole. The key melted. My remark? "Hot!" I don't remember the incident.

  • Robert||

    Because the zipper is on a sweater intended for children.

  • dubbschism||

    actually, if "no injuries have been reported" we can say the observed chance of a kid getting hurt is actually 0%.

  • Zeb||

    How fucking retarded do they think children are? Is the world not full of small objects that a child might choke on?

    Having recalls for idiotic stuff like this will probably mostly serve to make people ignore recalls because they can see that this is completely stupid and poses no threat to anyone but a retarded 3 year old.

  • ||

    Zeb, there is an age where a kid puts everything that fits into its mouth. The things that it can't fit in its mouth merely get gnawed on.

    They grow out of it, but it is a very gross phase of their development.

    Most kids (approaching 100%) in that phase don't choke on any of the crazy things they put in their mouths. Nothing special about zipper pulls.

  • Zeb||

    In my experience, some kids are a lot less into putting things in their mouths than others.

    But how old is that phase? 1-2 years, I'd guess. Are these sweatshirts for 2 year olds?

  • Spoonman.||

    My 1-year-old is already past putting things in her mouth, other than ones she apparently mentally categorizes as "probably food".

  • Ron||

    If they had a recall for everything that could potentially break and choke some one there would be nothing left to sell. you can never achieve that level of perfection in anything heck you couldn't even let your kid play in the gravel for the earth is full of choking hazards

  • Zeb||

    The other really stupid thing is that the really tough standards are for items sold for children. As if children are not constantly surrounded by thing that were not designed or sold for children.

  • Bramblyspam||

    I'm mildly curious as to how many of these sweatshirts will actually get returned by customers. Maybe the total will even end up in the double digits. I have a hard time seeing it reach triples.

    The real economic damage comes from all the sweatshirts that haven't been sold yet, and now have to be pulled from the shelves.

    Actually, I take back that bit about returns. These clothes are for toddlers, who outgrow their clothes in a matter of months. I'm confident there'll be some savvy parents who keep using these sweatshirts until their kids have outgrown them, and then turn them in for a full refund.

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