In May of 1998, 16-month-old Danny Keysar died when a crib he was in at a childcare facility collapsed. He would be turning 24 on December 31, 2020, were it not for this accident.
The crib had been recalled years earlier, but the facility had not been informed of the recall. When the crib collapsed, Keysar was caught in the “V” of the crib’s bar-like construction and was unable to breathe. When Keysar’s parents learned of the recall, they investigated the situation, learning that the manufacturer had done little to tell retailers and childcare facilities about the danger the recalled crib posed.
Linda and Boaz Keysar found that their story was far from unique, and that several other infants had been killed by similar accidents due to the faulty cribs not being properly recalled. As a result, the parents formed “KID,” or “Kids in Danger,” a non-profit organization that seeks to tighten product regulation and raise awareness about unsafe children’s products.
A law passed in 2008, called “Danny’s Law,” made it much more difficult for manufacturers to skip vital safety testing with products like cribs. This, coupled with the work of KID, has likely saved countless children’s lives thanks to stricter product safety regulations and more robust recalls.
Tragically, many companies put their profits before the safety of their customers. This has been seen time and again, from tobacco companies hiding evidence that their products cause cancer to automobile manufacturers suppressing information about traffic fatalities. The children’s products industry is sadly part of that same legacy.
One would hope that companies would simply do the right thing, or use profit incentives to avoid creating potentially harmful products. However, reality has shown us that it takes motivated lobbyists and strict government regulation to keep profit-driven companies in line. Where there is money to be made, companies will cut costs by shirking testing and suppressing potentially-damaging information like product recalls.
Nearly all product regulations that are currently on the books are there because of someone’s death. So, when you see lengthy product safety disclaimers or hear about recalls that sound frivolous, remember, those regulations are in place for a reason.
Children like Danny Keysar have become the victims of companies seeking to cut corners and turn a tidier profit. Thankfully, activists and non-profit organizations like KID exist to help advocate for the safety of children everywhere. While Danny’s death was tragic, his legacy has had a lasting impact.