Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Illinois Attorney General requests records from JPMA

As reported in the Chicago Tribune today, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan has asked the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA) to provide documentation on their certification program, as it relates to drop-side cribs. Madigan had previously asked JPMA to stop certifying drop-side cribs, given their track record of recalls and deaths, ahead of the scheduled June date. "The fact that they knowingly are putting a seal of approval on a deadly product is outrageous," Madigan said in an interview. "It should be illegal, and it needs to be stopped."

Almost all of the 7 millions drop-side cribs recalled recently were certified by JPMA. That is also true of the additional 4 million fixed sided cribs, bassinets and play yards also recalled during the same time period.

Consumer groups, including KID, applaud the first new mandatory standard -- bath seats

As we mentioned in our earlier post, CPSC voted 5-0 to publish the first mandatory standard required by the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008. Consumer groups applauded the action, while still noting the particular dangers of bath seats, in a release yesterday. Read the statement here at Consumer Federation of America's website.

Monday, May 24, 2010

US Senator Gillibrand to introduce legislative ban on drop-side cribs

On Sunday, May 23, US Senator Kirsten Gillibrand gathered with parents and local officials to announce that she will be introducing legislation to ban drop-side designs of cribs. After 5 recalls this year alone -- and over 7 million drop-side cribs recalled in the past three years -- along with over 30 deaths, the Senator says it is time to protect consumers and ban the dangerous design.

This legislation, along with measures by a newly invigorated Consumer Product Safety Commission, will give parents the assurance they need that the crib they buy will keep their baby safe.

That is a goal that Michelle Witte has been working towards for 13 years, since her son Tyler died in a drop-side crib. She was joined at the press conference by the parents of Bobby Cirigliano (pictured above) who died in 2004 when his dropside crib came apart.

Through the efforts of these parents, New York has taken a lead on this issue with several counties banning drop-side cribs and a state bill pending. The Gillibrand bill will make the ban national.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Baby bath seats to get tough new standard

In her book, It's No Accident: How Corporations Sell Dangerous Baby Products, Author E. Marla Felcher says of bath seats, "never use a bathseat/ring; there is no situation where using one is safe. In her chapter on the shortcomings of voluntary standards she says, "Bath seats .. illustrate just how inadequate the industry's voluntary standard setting process can be."

A quick look at retailers show very few are still selling the product -- switching instead to baby tubs which can better control the amount of water and movement of a baby. And that's a good thing. Amelia was one of the lucky ones. Her mother, who had stood for a minute to drop something in the sink, turned back to see her daughter underwater. She was able to pull her out of the water and avert a tragedy. Hundreds are not so lucky. As of November 2009, CPSC shows 179 deaths since 1983 (and most are from 1990 or so forward).

Now, 10 years later, CPSC has approved (5-0) a mandatory bath seat standard that will eliminate the product as it was designed when Felcher wrote of the dangers of the product. On Wednesday, the full commission voted to publish a new mandatory bath seat standard, the first final standard published as required by the Danny Keysar section of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008.

KID has always recommended against the use of bath seats and continues that recommendation -- even if a bath seat could meet the new standard (there doesn't appear to be one now that meets it). It simply makes it too likely that a baby will be left unattended in a dangerous setting, water! Whatever your bathing solution for your little one, always keep one hand on the baby and stay within arms reach of toddlers in the tub.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Toy dart game recalled by retailer

The CPSC and Family Dollar Stores announced a recall today of 1.8 million toy dart games sold at the retailer. Two boys died after the small flexible suction cup dart got stuck in their throats. This follows a similar recall of another brand of darts after a death.

Henry Gordy International, the importer of the dart game, refused to recall the product. And under CPSC's rules, there isn't much CPSC can do about that. To force a recall would take substantial funding and a court case - something CPSC has been unwilling to pursue, especially in cases such as this where a third party steps forward to remove the product from the market and reimburse customers.

This isn't Henry Gordy's first dangerous product, they have recalled three other products for lead, choking and magnet hazards.

Family Dollar is offering a refund for the returned product. CPSC warns parents about the risk of these small darts or any product small enough to fit in the mouth with the round suction cup -- it is too easy to swallow and then can't be dislodged easily. Both the boys killed were with adults, but efforts to remove the dart were unsuccessful. Remind children of all ages to avoid putting this type object in their mouths.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Step 2 recalls riding toys after injuries

Step 2, in conjunction with CPSC, recalled 2.5 million Push Around and Whisper Ride Buggies today. The bolt holding the handle to the buggy can come out, causing the handle to detach. CPSC reports two injuries requiring medical care and 26 other minor injuries. It appears the handle fails while on an incline and the baby and buggy roll away, causing the injuries.

Only buggies with yellow knobs are affected by this recall. Consumers should stop using the product and contact Step 2 for a free repair kit.

Friday, May 7, 2010

CPSC issues warning about drop-side cribs

After the most recent in a long run of recalls of drop-side cribs, CPSC today issued their strongest warning to date about the dangers of drop-side cribs. Citing at least 32 deaths attributed to faulty drop-side design, CPSC says they are inherently less durable that fixed side cribs. CPSC is likely to follow the lead of the voluntary standard setting body, ASTM International, and ban the design in the mandatory standard due out by the end of this year.

In the warning on their blog, On Safety, CPSC states that many of the deaths happen when hardware fails -- breaking or deforming, leaving a gap where a child can become entrapped. The incidents took place both before parents had realized the crib was broken and in some cases after parents attempted to fix the broken crib. In some cases, because of a poor design, the crib could be put together wrong - still working, but leading to earlier failure of the hardware. CPSC again warned parents against trying to fix cribs that break. Instead, contact the manufacturer for replacement parts, or perhaps a refund for the defective crib.

Many of the safety recommendations are also in our recent post on drop-side cribs. Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan's office has also released a poster about drop-side crib hazards. Bottom line? Avoid drop-side cribs if possible and check them carefully and often both for recalls and broken hardware if you are currently using one.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

C&T International/Sorelle Recalls Drop-Side Cribs

CPSC, in cooperation with C&T International/ Sorelle, has recalled approximately 170,000 drop-side cribs. The cribs were also sold under the Golden Baby name. The cribs’ drop-side hardware can disengage from the tracks, causing the drop side to detach from the crib. When the drop-side partially detaches, it creates space between the drop side and the crib mattress in which infants and toddlers can become entrapped. This entrapment can pose a strangulation and/or suffocation hazard. The complete detachment of the drop sides can lead to falls from the crib. CPSC and the company have received reports of 104 incidents of drop-side and slat detachments. In several of these incidents, entrapped infants received bruises and abrasions to their bodies. Consumers should stop using the crib immediately. Contact C&T/Sorelle to receive a immobilizer and replacement parts kit, or a voucher for older cribs that no longer have replacement parts available. You can also call the company at (877)791-9398, but only between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. ET Monday through Friday!!

Federal Investigation into Pampers with Dry Max

Recently, the CPSC launched an investigation into parents' complaints of the latest version of Pampers diapers, Pampers with Dry Max. Parents alleged that Pampers with Dry Max are causing rashes, burns and bleeding. Parents' have expressed their growing concerns and complaints on online sites including a Facebook page, where concerns were first reported by a consumer approximately two weeks ago. Since then, the number of members of the page has doubled to more than 4,200 and the complaints continue to grow.

Procter & Gamble, the parent company, says the ingredients in the diaper should not be causing the rashes and suggests they often get increased complaints anytime a new product is introduced.

We urge all parents who have experienced any problems with Pampers with Dry Max to file a complaint with the CPSC by filling out an online form, by emailing the agency at or calling its hotline at 800-638-2772.

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