When you purchase a product, no matter what it is, you expect it to be safe. In most cases, that’s the case. However, it shouldn’t be automatically assumed because many products are recalled every year.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recalls around 400 products each and every year. In many cases, it’s the product itself that poses a risk to consumers, while in other cases, it’s the packaging that can be dangerous, especially when it comes to products that are marketed towards children.
Not paying attention to the safety of the product or the packaging before you buy can have disastrous consequences for your family. Know how to protect yourself with the tips on this list.
Know What Kinds of Products Are More Likely to Be Defective
When you hear about recalls on the TV, you probably hear about food, baby products, and vehicles the most often. However, there are many other types of products that are more likely to be defective than others. A few examples include:
- Sporting equipment
- Personal use items
- Household appliances
- Home furnishings
- Heating and cooling equipment
By knowing which types of products are more likely to have problems, you can be more careful any time you’re ready to buy a product that is more likely to be unsafe than others.
Dive Deep Into the Information on the Packaging
We all know how important it is to learn how to read food labels, but it’s not just food labels you should be looking at. Any time you buy something new, you should read the information on the packaging carefully.
Read any warnings that may be printed on the packaging, as well as the proper way the item is to be used. It’s the best way to make sure you keep products with small parts away from pets, and it can encourage you to keep a product away from a small child if you know they will play with it in an unsafe way.
Don’t just look at the information on the packaging—look at the packaging itself. Is it going to be difficult to open? Are there multiple bags that could be a suffocation hazard? You may want to avoid a product simply because opening it could be dangerous.
Check for Reviews Online
Whether you’re shopping for a product in person or online, it’s always a good idea to hop on the internet and check reviews before you make a purchase. You can learn a lot about the safety and usefulness of the product, as well as if there are any issues with the packaging by reading about other people’s experiences with it.
Amazon is a good place to start, but it isn’t the only place you can find review information. Check out other review sites to ensure you find accurate, truthful reviews.
Consider How Long the Product Has Been on the Market
Many of the products we know and love haven’t been around for as long as we think, but a product doesn’t have to be around for 100 years in order for it to be tried and true.
When purchasing products, you may want to leave the brand-new items on the shelf. Although being the first to try something new can be fun, it’s much better to give a product a try that has been around for at least a few months or years to ensure consumers and other agencies have had the time to test it and report on any deficiencies. It’s especially important for baby and pet items, as they can be especially dangerous.
If There’s Any Doubt, Buy Something Else
If you’ve looked at the packaging and checked out reviews online, and you haven’t uncovered any specific problems, but something still doesn’t seem right, move on and buy something else instead.
In today’s world, you aren’t out of luck if you decide you don’t want to buy one version of a product. With so much competition in the market, there are many other brands that are making the same types of things, so you can find a product and packaging with a proven track record of safety.
Most companies have the best intentions when they design a new product or packaging, but mistakes can happen. Don’t put you or your family at risk by purchasing a product without considering it carefully. Follow the tips on this list whenever you buy something new to reduce the chances of injury, illness, and frustration.