Thursday, April 30, 2009

Jardine announces yet another expansion of crib recall

CPSC and Jardine announced today that another 96,000 Jardine cribs, sold through this month, have been recalled because of slat breakage. This is the second expansion of the original recall, bringing the total number of cribs recalled to just under half a million.

Combined, CPSC is reporting 92 reports of broken slats, with 7 incidents involving entrapments or a child falling out through the broken slats. In 19 of the cases, the child is reported as breaking the slat while in the crib (a new generation of Popeyes perhaps?).

The models recalled today are additional models or manufacturing lots not covered in the first two recalls. So it is possible that someone is now having to replace their third Jardine crib -- my advice? Go for another brand! As we saw with Simplicity cribs, once a manufacturer has one large crib recall based on a design defect, it is likely more will be recalled in the future. If you have had experiences with this recall, please share in comments!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

CPSC holds roundtable on crib safety

The roundtable was attended by consumer advocates, safety groups, manufacturers, retailers, government regulators from the US, Europe and Canada and testing labs. CPSC staff presented useful information about the incidents, injuries and deaths they see involving cribs and other sleep environments as well as a comparison of standards and a glimpse at their Early Warning System for reviewing sleep environment incidents. All their presentations as well as those from KID and the other presentors can be found on CPSC's website. The afternoon allowed time for an exchange of ideas from the audience on ways to improve crib safety.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

KID releases new report on 08 recalls, recall effectiveness

Today, Kids In Danger released Toxic Toys and Faulty Cribs, an examination of children's product recalls in 2008, recall effectiveness at CPSC and the implications for child safety. KID was joined by US Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, and representatives of Illinois PIRG and Lead Safe Illinois. here is the release:

2007 might have been the Year of the Recall, leading to landmark children’s product safety legislation in Congress, but the recalls continued through 2008, including a record number of crib recalls.

The report found that children’s product recalls by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) remained high in 2008, following 2007’s record numbers. There were 190 recalls accounting for more than 18 million items, including twelve recalls of cribs responsible for five deaths.

“These products together caused at least 210 injuries and 7 deaths,” stated Nancy Cowles, executive director of Kids In Danger. “And those incidents include only those already reported at the time of the recall. More needs to be done to protect children from these hazards.

Additional findings of the report include:

· Toys were the largest category of recalled children’s products – 41%

· Despite the scrutiny on lead in 2007, 36% of the recalls were for lead paint hazards.

· There were five recalls of over one million products with over 18 million units recalled in total.

· Two-thirds of the recalled products were made in China, 4% were made here in the United States.

· Evenflo had the most injuries prior to a recall – 94 in their Majestic High Chair.

· A record number, 12, cribs were recalled, involving eight injuries and five deaths.

· While CPSC requires monthly updates on Corrective Action Plans, research showed that many companies simply don’t file the report or don’t fill in the requested information. For those that do, the numbers show that most recalled products remain in the hands of consumers.

KID recommends that CPSC immediately begin to plan and implement a public database with product and injury data. In addition, CPSC should require more of companies when a product is recalled to ensure dangerous products are removed from use or repaired. “Congress should request annual reports on recall effectiveness,” stated Cowles. “Perhaps the light of day will encourage companies to take those extra steps to get their defective products out of homes and child care facilities.”

“We are obligated to protect our children from the dangers of the world when the solutions are as obvious as they are with toxic toys,” said Rep. Jan Schakowsky. “By increasing oversight and enforcing accountability on manufacturers we will provide parents with greater peace of mind and children with toys they can enjoy.”

“I have launched many investigations to identify and remove dangerous products from store shelves in Illinois. The results of these investigations underscore the report’s findings that the Consumer Product Safety Commission must do more to make the recall process work effectively for families,” Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan said. “We have learned that it is not enough just to post a recall on a Web site and distribute a press release. The CPSC and product manufacturers must implement more proactive and aggressive measures to ensure that consumers with dangerous products in their homes become aware of the recall and understand how to respond appropriately.”

KID recommends that parents check the products used with their children at and sign up for safety updates at In addition, parents should report problems with a product both to the manufacturer and CPSC and urge Congress to continue its oversight of the agency.

“Parents should not have to be scientists in the toy store in order to make sure they are buying safe products for their children,” said Emily Miller, Health Care Advocate with Illinois PIRG. “Toys should be safe, period. Kids, who are our littlest consumers, deserve high safety standards that protect them from death and other serious health hazards.”

“Lead in toys is one of the causes of children being harmed by lead,” concluded Anita Weinberg of Lead Safe Illinois. “At the same time, lead poisoning is one of the few causes of social and learning problems we know how to solve - it's preventable. Kids in Danger's report on "Toxic Toys and Faulty Cribs" goes a long way to helping raise awareness about preventable risks to children.”

More information about Kids In Danger and dangerous juvenile products is available at (312) 595-0649 or

Monday, April 20, 2009

Reminder: CPSC Crib Roundtable on Wednesday

This Wednesday, CPSC will host a staff Roundtable on cribs and other sleep environments. KID, as well as others with a stake in crib safety, will be making comments . Here's the agenda (PDF), you can also view it online.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

CPSC creates online Crib Information Center

In the recent edition of the Safety Review, CPSC's monthly online newsletter, one article highlights all the crib recalls over the past few years -- over five million cribs, play yards and bassinets. CPSC has posted a Crib Information Center on their site, not only listing all the recent sleep environment recalls, but posting additional crib safety information for parents.

One important safety reminder was left out-- if you have problems with your crib -- hardware loose or broken, slats that break or come loose, mattress supports that fail, or dropsides that don't work correctly -- stop using it and report it immediately to the CPSC and the manufacturer. That action might save a baby's life. You can learn more from KID's Safe Sleep flyer.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

CPSC settles for $1.1 million with Mega Brands for Magnetix toy hazards

CPSC announced a settlement today with Mega Brands for withholding information on the hazards associated with Magnetix building toys. The toys were first recalled in 2006 after the death of 22 month old Kenny Sweet in Washington State. Unbeknown to his family, Kenny had swallowed the tiny magnets that had fallen out of the defective toy and hidden in the carpet. As it turns out, by the time the CPSC was notified of Kenny's death, the company (Rose Art) had more than 1000 complaints of magnets falling out and at least one report of serious injury before Kenny's death. By the time of the recall, the firm had over 1,500 reports of product failure and by April 07, when the recall was expanded, almost 30 serious injuries, most involving surgery. Mega Brands announced the aquisition of Rose Art in June 2005, but in settling with CPSC, denies any prior knowledge of problems with Magnetix prior to Kenny's death. A recent Mega Brands company report showed 2008 sales of just under $450 million, down 15% from 2007. Consumers are urged to check their toys to make sure they don't have any of the recalled Magnetix toys or any other products recalled since 2006 because of magnet ingestion hazards. CPSC also has a guide for identifying the recalled Magnetix products.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Yet another Simplicity recall -- more play yards this time

Back in January, when the recall of Simplicity-made, but Fisher Price branded, play yards was announced, KID warned readers that the same product was still on the market under the Simplicity brand. Now finally today, the retailers have again come forward to recall this faulty product for the defunct Simplicity for Children, Inc or SFCA, the successor company.

The side rails on these play yards can fail, leading to entrapment and fall hazards. The Travel Tender play yard was sold by various retailers through January of this year. It can be returned to the place of purchase for a refund or replacement. Retailers participating in the recall include Babies"R"Us, Burlington Coat Factory, Target and Kohl's. Kudos to Kohl's for being the first of the lot to have the recall posted on their website -- the rest should show up shortly.

Monday, April 6, 2009

"New" CPSC report on nursery product injuries and deaths.

Each year, CPSC releases a report compiling their injury and death data from nursery products. (They also do a similar report on toys.) The report released last week details injuries from 2007 and deaths through 2005 (hence the quotes around "new").

The numbers haven't changed much since last year's report -- about 62,500 children under age five were rushed to emergency rooms in 2007 for injuries related to nursery furniture -- cribs, strollers, high chairs, etc. The items most frequently involved were infant carriers and car seat carriers (used outside of cars); cribs/mattresses; high chairs; and strollers. The largest injury category was falls, with the head the most frequently injured body part -- 44% of the reported injuries involved the head.

Injuries are even or slightly down for many categories but up slightly for playpens and baby gates.

The most recent numbers CPSC is releasing on deaths are from 2005 -- before the flurry of sleeping environment recalls that involved deaths. CPSC estimates an average of 79 deaths each year involving juvenile products. About 30 of those deaths involve cribs, with another 8 in bassinets and 11 involving playpens that are often used as sleep environments for babies. These statistics are a reminder that before using any sleep environment for your baby, check to make sure it is properly assembled, with no missing or broken hardware; that it has not been recalled; and then, remember, bare is best. Remove all soft bedding from a crib or bassinet and use only the mattress supplied or recommended by the manufacturer. Report problems with a nursery product to the manufacturer and CPSC.

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