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Could site make child products safer?


(CBS/AP) From drop-side cribs to baby toys with parts that pose a choking hazard, it seems as if recalls of products for kids never end.

However, a new public database may let consumers know a product is faulty before it's even purchased., overseen by the Consumer Product Safety Commission, recently went live. The website enables people to report and search for safety complaints on thousands of products, from cribs and toys to power tools and hair dryers.

Despite a last-minute attempt to derail it, the government launched the site. Manufacturers and other critics have raised objections over the viability of the claims made by people writing to the site.

The database enables people to file reports of injury or potential harm about household products, baby gear and more. In coming weeks, as consumers file reports with the agency, people will be able to search for safety complaints about specific items they might have in their homes or might purchase.

"Through, consumers will have open access to product safety information that they have never seen before and the information will empower them to make safer choices," Inez Tenenbaum, chairman of the consumer safety agency, told The Associated Press.

But manufacturers and others charge the public database will be replete with bogus reports and misleading information.

"We want the information to be as accurate as possible in this database," said Rosario Palmieri, vice president of regulatory policy at the National Association of Manufacturers. "Otherwise this will not be a useful tool for consumers."

What do you think about this new effort - would it be useful to you? Let us know what you think in the comments below.