Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Breaking News: Dorel Asia Recalls Cribs: Strangulation and Suffocation Hazards
Today the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, along with Dorel Asia is announcing a voluntary recall to replace drop side and non-drop side cribs that pose suffocation and strangulation hazards to infants and toddlers. Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled cribs until replacement kits are obtained and installed from Dorel Asia.
CPSC and Dorel Asia received a report of the death of 6-month old child who became entrapped and strangled in a crib after the drop side hardware broke. Reports of 31 drop side incidents were received and in six of those incidents, children were entrapped between the drop side and crib mattress. In addition, CPSC and Dorel Asia received reports of 36 incidents of slat breakage, including reports of bruises and scratches to children.
What makes these cribs so dangerous? The drop side hardware can fail causing the drop side to detach from the crib. When the drop side detaches it creates a space in which an infant or toddler can become entrapped and suffocate or strangle. In addition, the recalled cribs can pose a serious entrapment and strangulation hazard when a slat is damaged. This can occur while the crib is in use, in storage, being put together, taken apart or reassembled; or during shipping and handling.
Dorel took the unusual and distasteful step of immediately reversing what was said in the joint press release with CPSC in their own release a couple hours later. Given the amount of time wasted in negotiating the wording of releases with companies before a recall is released, this kind of public backtracking should be discouraged, perhaps with fines.
Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled cribs, find an alternative, safe sleeping environment for their child, and contact Dorel Asia to receive a free replacement kit. Consumers should log on to www.dorel-asia.com to order the free replacement kit. The repair kits will be provided to owners within the next several weeks.
Exact model numbers and styles of cribs involved in this recall can be found through the CPSC website.
Finally, CPSC reminds parents not to use any crib with missing, broken, or loose parts. Make sure to tighten hardware from time to time to keep the crib sturdy. When using a drop-side crib, parents should check to make sure the drop side or any other moving part operates smoothly. Always check all sides and corners of the crib for disengagement. Disengagements can create a gap and entrap a child. In addition, do not try to repair any side of the crib, especially with duct tape, wire, or rope.