Friday, October 31, 2008

Illinois AG Madigan files suit against SFCA for selling deadly bassinets, publishes safety guide for parents on sleep environment recalls

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan has again stepped up to the plate to protect Illinois consumers from dangerous children's products. This week her office filed a lawsuit against SFCA, the company that bought Simplicity for Children's assets. The lawsuit calls on SFCA to recall all faulty bassinets, reimburse retailers who have refunded consumers for the bassinets, publicize the recalls and institute a complete safety review of all Simplicity products still on the market.

Since 2005, Simplicity has recalled over 2.6 million cribs and bassinets for flaws that have led to at least six deaths. Most of those cribs and bassinets remain unaccounted for. The staff of Attorney General Madigan have been combing Craigslist for months, along with other online sites, for the recalled products and helping consumers participate in the recalls. Now, they have published Rest Assured, a guide to recent sleep environment recalls. This vital document should be placed in every pediatrician's waiting room, at child care facilities, hospitals and any other place new parents might see it.

KID joined with the AG's office at the press conference announcing the lawsuit and Rest Assured. In addition, we strongly support Attorney General Madigan's call for refunds as the only remedy in products that have already caused a death.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Delta recalls for repair over 1.5 million cribs; CPSC announced proposed rulemaking for crib durability

Delta Enterprise announced recalls of two cribs involved in infant deaths. 985,000 dropside cribs with safety pegs that may fall out or become missing and 600,000 cribs in which the spring peg may malfunction are involved. Delta and CPSC are aware of 2 deaths, 3 other infant entrapments and 10 incidents in which the side rail detached. Consumers are urged to stop using the spring peg cribs immediately until they can receive the repair kit and to examine the cribs with safety pegs carefully and stop using if the safety peg is missing. More details are at CPSC and the company's website.

In addition to the recall, CPSC has posted a press release alerting parents to general problems with drop side cribs and announcing a proposed rulemaking to strengthen performance standards for cribs. New proposals to more vigorously test cribs for durability have languished in the voluntary standard setting process. With the additional recalls announced today, CPSC has recalled over 3.5 million cribs since last September.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Infant death leads to recall of convertible crib

CPSC has recalled 2,000 convertible cribs by Playkids, U.S.A. The crib sides are mesh, allowing the baby to get entrapped between the mattress and side. A 5-month-old died in Brooklyn in August. The cribs were sold primarily in New York. Consumers should immediately stop using the product and contact Playkids for a refund.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Safety group warns against certain car seat boosters

As more and more states require car seats and boosters for older and larger children, the number of booster seats on the market has risen. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety recently tested 41 booster seats and found 13 of them wanting when it came to correctly positioning the safety belt on the child. Given that the seat belt is what is keeping the child safe and that incorrect positioning can lead to severe injuries, the results of this report should be taken seriously.

"We evaluated the safety belt fit boosters provide, not crash protection," says Institute president Adrian Lund in the press release. "This is because unlike child restraints, boosters don't restrain children in crashes. They simply position children so lap and shoulder belts are in the right place to restrain them."

"We'd expect the 10 best bets to improve belt fit for children in almost any car, minivan, or SUV," Lund says. "Likewise, it's clear that kids in the 13 boosters we don't recommend aren't getting the full benefit of improved lap belt fit. These boosters may increase restraint use by making children more comfortable, but they don't position belts for optimal protection."

For a list of the "not recommended", "best bet" and "good bet" seats, click here.

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