Dangerous nursery products top 2009 recall list

CPSC demonstrates dangers of Simplicity cribsRecalls of strollers, cribs, high chairs and other nursery products pushed nursery products to the top category of recalled products for the first time, the advocacy group Kids in Danger announced.

In a just-released report analyzing recalls conducted by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, the group found that 40 nursery products involving more than 21 million units and tied to 198 injuries and nine deaths were recalled.

"And those incidents include only those already reported at the time of the recall," Kids in Danger executive director Nancy Cowles said in a statement e-mailed to WalletPop.com. "More needs to be done to protect children from these hazards."

Among the biggest recalls:
  • 4 million units of Aqua-Leisure inflatable baby floats (the leg straps can tear and cause a baby go under water)
  • 2.1 million Stork Craft drop-side cribs (entrapment and fall dangers)
  • 643,000 Evenflo Envision high chairs (risk of falls and choking)
Evenflo Co. and Dorel Juvenile Group -- which sells products under a variety of brands including Cosco and Safety First -- each had five recalls, according to the analysis.

Kids in Danger also singled out two companies with a startling number of reports of incidents prior before a recall was put in place. Wooden Play Sets by Adventure Playsets and Rainforest Play Yards by Simplicity Inc. tallied more than 1,000 reported incidents prior to its recall and Evenflo's Envision high chairs were blamed for 54 injuries before they were recalled.

The nation's product safety system largely relies on self-reporting by companies. They are obligated to immediately inform the CPSC of a possible product defect when a risk of serious injury or death is discovered.

At least four deaths were attributed to problems with the Stork Craft cribs, which gave momentum to the already strong movement to rid the marketplace of drop-side cribs -- a type of crib that was once the industry standard. Cribs made by Simplicity, which is now defunct, are blamed for nearly a dozen deaths. CPSC officials have said they expect a virtual ban of the cribs to be put in place this year. Toys R Us has said it stopped ordering drop-side cribs for its Babies R Us stores, wiping out a huge market for those cribs.

What's left now are the tens of millions of drop-side cribs still in homes and child care centers.

"This Kids In Danger report highlights the need for all of us to continue our work at the state and federal level to protect children from dangerous products," Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan said in a written statement. "With new leadership at the CPSC, we are making strides to improve the product safety information available to parents and to require greater accountability for product manufacturers."
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