Urgent safety matter: popular bassinet kills two infants


The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has issued a safety alert for the Simplicity 3-in-1 and the Simplicity 4-in-1 convertible "close-sleeper" bassinets. If you're a parent and have a baby sleeping in one of these, you should stop using it immediately and pay attention to all crib recall notices.

The problem? In the last six months, two babies have died in them. The bassinets are made so that the parent can put the bassinet next to their bed, and then fold down the fabric, off of one of the metal supports in the mini-crib. That allows the mom or dad to see the baby. But since there's a gap between the metal and the mattress, a baby's chest or head can get stuck. There's there's no good way to describe what can happen next. The Chicago Tribune put it in a lengthy story on the matter, describes it this way; "Trapped, they hang to death."

It happened to a six-month-old girl in Shawnee, Kansas, a little over a week ago in a Simplicity bassinet. In the aftermath of their initial grief, the devastated family, thinking that they might have missed a recall, did some research online and discovered that something similar happened to a four-month-old girl in Noel, Missouri, last September--and yet there had been no recall at the time, although last year, the same Simplicity Inc. was the subject of a recall of over one million cribs.

The CPSC told the Tribune that the bassinet hadn't been recalled yet because the investigation is still open. And so, thanks to the urging of the family of Kennedy Brotherton Jones, the CPSC has just issued a safety alert, which they can do, much faster than start a recall.

So if you know a parent with a baby, you might want to suggest that they check the brand name of their bassinet, if they have one. You can also find more information, like a list of the model numbers that are in question, at the CPSC web site.

And it should be noted that some major retailers have stopped selling these bassinets and will offer a refund for anyone who returns them, and that includes: Wal-Mart, Toys "R" Us, Kmart, Big Lots!, J.C. Penney, and Target.