Consumer Alert: When Buying Secondhand, Don't Forget Recalls

ABC News

For 5-year-old Sophia Justice of Katy, Texas, playtime took a scary turn when firefighters had to remove a recalled Easy-Bake Oven that had gotten stuck on her hand.

"I was so scared," Sophia said.

Her mother, Luciana Justice, had purchased the toy at a garage sale. She had no idea a million of the toys had been recalled because a child's hand could get trapped inside and possibly burned.

"I found out that it's a recalled toy," Justice said. "I want to cry. I thought I'm a failure as a mom because it's [recalls are] hard to keep track. How do you know?"

Click here for the commission's list on recalls.

According to Kids In Danger, just 10 percent of recalled products are ever returned, replaced or repaired and often become hand-me-downs or items sold at garage sales.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission works with companies that voluntarily recall products with problems.

When Patty Davis of the CPSC visited Roxanne Stuver of Washington, D.C., and her three young children, Davis found that the family still had a stroller that had been recalled because of the risk of finger amputation on a hinge.

A second stroller in the home also had been recalled because of a string that posed a choking hazard. In the baby's room, Davis found a recalled mattress due to improper sizing as well as a light that was recalled.

"It sounds like I shouldn't be buying or getting hand-me-downs 'cause it seems like all the items I got as a hand-me-down were recalled," Stuver said.

Davis advised looking up products on the commission's website before accepting them or buying them secondhand. She also suggested signing up for product email alerts as well as filling out warranty cards.

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