There is a new and frightening warning out about infant sleepers. This time, families are being urged to stop using Kids II infant rocking sleepers because they have been linked to the deaths of five infants. Kids II recalled its entire line of infant rocking sleepers on Friday – approximately 36 models and 694,000 individual products – just two weeks after the stunning Fisher-Price recall.
Fisher-Price recalled 4.7 million of its Rock ‘n Play sleepers on April 12, after an investigation linked the product to more than 30 deaths over 10 years. This means that combined, the two companies sold more than 5.3 million defective sleepers to unknowing families.
Kids II introduced its sleepers in March 2012. Five infants have since died while using the sleepers after rolling from their back to their stomach while unrestrained or under other circumstances.
These sleepers were sold at Target, Walmart and Toys “R” Us as well as online, with a price tag of $40-$80. Parents and grandparents who own one should stop using the Kids II sleepers and contact the company for a recall or a voucher to use toward another product. Parents can call Kids II toll-free at 1-866-869-7954 8:00 a.m.to 5:00 p.m. ET Monday through Friday or visit the company’s website.
Read the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s recall notice for a full list of the recalled sleepers. One of the models was sold with Disney branding.
In the Fisher-Price case, the Consumer Product Safety Commission and the company, which is part of Mattel, initially announced the sleeper had been linked to at least 10 deaths in early April. The company said the deaths all involved children who were 3 months or older. The company’s remedy was for parents to stop using the rocker when children turned 3 months old or became capable of turning themselves over.
Soon after began the calls for a recall. Consumer Reports and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) were the leading advocates in both the Fisher-Price and Kids II sleeper recalls. Both products put children in canopy-like sleeper, which can rock to music and is highly likely to move if an infant can. The AAP warns the rocking sleepers are unsafe and create a risk for suffocation and strangulation. The academy advises that infants should only sleep on flat surfaces such as cribs or bassinets. The sleeping surface should be free of soft bedding, toys and other products.
After Friday’s recall, Consumer Reports asked the Consumer Product Safety Commission if the agency intends to recall all sleepers on the market. An agency spokesperson said it continues to actively investigate sleep products and was “reassessing the product class and hazards associated with it.” Meanwhile, Mattel has announced the Fisher-Price recall will cost the company $27.3 for the quarter ending March 31, 2019. But the recall won’t entirely remove the sleeper from homes. According to Consumer Reports, Fisher-Price sells the same product in Canada, but markets it as a “soothing seat.”
About Breakstone, White & Gluck – Boston Product Liability Attorneys
Breakstone, White & Gluck is a Boston personal injury law firm which represents individuals who have been injured by unsafe products. When a product has caused injury, there should be an investigation to determine the cause, which often falls under three categories: defective design, manufacturing error or a failure to warn consumers about the potential for injury. If someone in your family has been injured by a defective product, learn your rights. Contact our Boston product liability lawyers at 800-379-1244 or 617-723-7676 or use our contact form.
A few weeks ago, two young children in Franklin tragically died after becoming trapped in a defective wooden hope chest during a game of hide and seek. We follow reports of defective products carefully, and we now share some of the January product recalls issued by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). That agency is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of injury or death associated with consumer products.
Britax Stroller Recall
Britax recalled 225,000 strollers last week due to the stroller’s folding mechanism, which poses a risk for partial fingertip amputation. The company had received eight incident reports, including one partial fingertip amputation, one broken finger and severe finger lacerations.
Consumers are advised to stop using the recalled strollers immediately and contact Britax for a free repair kit.
The recall involves these models: Britax B-Agile, B-Agile Double and BOB Motion Strollers. They were sold at major retailers and juvenile product stores nationwide from May 2011 through June 2013. They were also sold through Amazon.com, ToysRUs.com and other online retailers. They sold for between $250 and $450.
In recent years, Maclaren USA has also recalled strollers with hinges which posed an amputation risk. In 2009, Maclaren USA recalled one million strollers after 12 reports of fingertip amputations and three other incidents. The company re-issued the recall in 2011. By that time, it had received a total of 149 reports, including 17 reports of fingertip amputations and other injuries, including lacerations and fingertip entrapments/bruising.
There were two recalls related to pacifiers this month. On Jan. 22, Playtex recalled 1.25 million pacifier holder clips in the U.S. and 150,000 in Canada. These clips attach the pacifier to clothing, diaper bags and strollers.
Playtex received 99 reports of the holder cracking or breaking. No injuries have been reported. Consumers are advised to stop using the product and contact Playtex for a full refund.
Last week, Fred & Friends recalled three models of its “Chill Baby” pacifier line, including 183,000 in the United States and 17,000 in Canada. The pacifiers have novelty features which can detach and do not meet federal safety standards. No injuries have been reported but consumers are advised to stop using the pacifiers and return them to Fred & Friends for a $12 refund.
Gree Dehumidifier Recall Expanded
In September, Gree recalled 2.2 million dehumidifiers under 12 brand names because they posed a risk for fire and burns. It expanded this recall last week, adding another 350,000 dehumidifiers under the GE brand name in the U.S. and 2,700 in Canada. The company had received 16 reports of incidents, including 11 reports of overheating with no property damage and 5 reports of fires associated with $430,000 in property damage.
The previous recall was associated with more than 71 fires and $2,725,000 in property damage. No injuries have been reported.
These dehumidifiers were manufactured by Gree Electric Appliances of China and imported by GE Appliances of Louisville, Kentucky. They were sold from April 2008 through December 2011 at Sam’s Club, Walmart and other stores in the U.S. and Canada. They were also sold on Amazon.com and Ebay.com. They sold for between $180 and $270. Consumers are advised to stop using the dehumidifiers and contact Gree for a refund.
Walmart Card Table and Chair Sets Recalled
Walmart recalled its Mainstays five-piece card table and chair set earlier this month because the chairs can collapse and may pose a risk of finger injury, including amputation. The retailer received 10 reports of injuries, including one finger amputation, three fingertip amputations, sprained or fractured fingers and one report of a sore back.
These table sets were sold in Walmart stores and online from May 2013 through November 2013 for about $50. On the bottom of the chairs, they have a label which reads: “Made by: Dongguan Shin Din Metal & Plastic Products Co,” or “Made by: Taiwan Shin Yeh Enterprises”, is printed on a white label on the bottom of the chairs.
Consumers are advised to stop using this product and return to Walmart for a full refund.
Parents who shop at IKEA should be aware of a far-reaching product recall involving a children’s lamp which has been blamed for a 16-month-old’s death.
On Dec. 11, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced the recall of IKEA children’s wall mounted lamps sold from July 1999 through May 2013. A total of 23 million of the SMILA-series wall mounted lamps were sold around the world. Of these, 2.9 million were sold in the United States and 1.1 million in Canada.
The recall follows two tragic incidents in Europe. In one case, a 16-month-old child in a crib died after becoming entangled in the lamp’s cord. In another incident, a 15-month-old became entangled in the cord and was nearly strangled.
Consumers are instructed to stop using the recalled lamp and contact IKEA for a free repair kit.
The lamps were recalled by IKEA North America, of Conshohocken, Pennsylvania. IKEA is a Swedish company which sells home furniture. The company has 340 IKEA stores in 42 countries. The company has 38 stores in the United States, including one on Route 24 in Stoughton, which opened in 2005. This is the only Massachusetts IKEA store.
The defective wall lamps were sold in eight designs through IKEA’s stores, catalog and ikea-usa.com for between $10 and $13.
What Consumers Should Know
Here is the IKEA lamp recall notice. The lamp was sold in eight designs, including a blue star, yellow moon, pink flower, white flower, red heart, green bug, blue seashells and an orange horse. The lamps are about 11 inches by 11 inches and have a seven-foot long electrical cord. Model numbers are included in the recall notice.
Parents who contact IKEA for a repair kit will be given self-adhesive fasteners to attach the lamp’s cord to the walls along with safety instructions.
Recalls Related to Children
Each year, the CPSC announces recalls dozens of dangerous toys. For 2012, the agency estimates that toy-related injuries resulted in 192,000 visits to U.S. hospital emergency rooms.
The dangers poorly made toys can pose is well known and always in the spotlight around the holiday shopping season. But the public often overlooks the dangers in other children’s products, which are often used even more frequently than toys. In 2013, a number of defective children’s products were recalled, including bunk beds which posed an entrapment risk, children’s utensils, children’s hooded sweatshirts with drawstrings, pajamas and baby strollers. See the link below to learn more.
Summary of 2013 product recalls, Safe Kids Worldwide
IKEA Recalls Children’s Wall-Mounted Lamps Due to Strangulation Hazard; One Child Death Reported, Consumer Product Safety Commission.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced several product recalls last week, including one for a dangerous child’s toy which can cause choking and which has been involved in a death. Also recalled were a high-end bicycle with defective brakes and a flat screen television which can overheat and catch on fire.
Doodlebutt Recalls Jelly BeadZ Jumbo BeadZ and Magic Growing Fruity Fun Toys Due to Serious Ingestion Hazard
About 1,500 of these small water-absorbing toys have been recalled by the importer, Doodlebutt of Lehigh Acres, Florida. The Jumbo BeadZ toys are marble-sized water absorbing balls and the Magic Growing Fruity Fun toys are water-absorbing polymer shapes, such as apples, bananas, butterflies and cherries.
The CPSC is aware of one incident in which an 8-month-old girl ingested the ball and it had to be surgically removed and two cases outside the United States, including one resulting in death.
The CPSC warns children can mistake the toys for candy and when swallowed, they can expand inside a child’s body. The toys can absorb 300 to 500 times their weight and grow up to eight times their original size. Children can suffer vomiting, dehydration and life-threatening injuries. Another problem is similar toys have not shown up on x-rays.
The toys were sold through Amazon.com from February 2012 to September 2013 for about $9. Consumers are advised to take the products away from children immediately and stop using the product. They can contact Doodblebutt for a full refund. Read the CPSC recall notice.
Eight Retailers Recall 32″ Coby Flat Screen Televisions Due to Fire and Burn Hazards
Eight retailers have recalled the 32″ Coby Flat Screen Television due to fire and burn hazards. These retailers have initiated the recall because Coby USA, the product importer and distributor, has gone out of business.
The CPSC has received reports of six incidents involving televisions overheating, smoking or catching on fire. No injuries were reported, but there was some property damage. In two cases, televisions caught on fire and one also scorched a wall.
Consumers are told to turn off and unplug the televisions and contact their retailer. Retailers may offer different remedies, which may include a refund, store credit, gift card or replacement TV. About 8,900 of the televisions were sold through:
Toys R Us
Nebraska Furniture Mart
P.C. Richard & Son.
The televisions were sold nationwide from August 2011 through November 2013 for between $170 and $260.
Read the CPSC recall notice for the model numbers involved in this recall.
Trek Recalls Madone Bicycles Due to Crash Hazard; Front Brake Can Fail
Trek has recalled several models of its year 2013 Madone bicycles after five reports of loose front brake attachment bolts. No injuries have been reported, but consumers are advised to stop using the bicycle and take it to a Trek dealer for a free replacement front brake system. The bicycles were sold nationwide from July 2012 through this month for between $3,400 and $6,300 and for custom models, up to $15,000. About 6,300 bicycles are involved in this recall. Read the CPSC recall notice.
Last month, a discount retailer agreed to pay one of the largest fines ever issued by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). The civil penalty settles allegations over illegal sales of children’s clothing with drawstrings.
The CPSC announced that Ross Stores, based in Pleasanton, California, agreed to pay a $3.9 million penalty and implement compliance programs. From January 2009 to February 2012, the CPSC alleges that Ross Stores knowingly failed to report that it sold or held for sale about 23,000 children’s upper outerwear garments with drawstrings at the neck or waist.
Under federal law, manufacturers, distributors, and retailers must report to the CPSC within 24 hours of learning about a defective product which may create a substantial product hazard. They must also report those which create an unreasonable risk of serious injury or death or fail to comply with CPSC regulations.
In July 2011, the CPSC issued a final rule and determined that children’s upper outerwear garments in certain sizes present substantial product hazards. The ruling should have taken the majority of children’s clothing with neck, hood and waist strings out of stores.
Ross Stores has now been fined twice over drawstring clothing for children. In 2009, it paid a $500,000 fine for failing to report it sold garments between 2006 and 2008.
The CPSC has received over two dozen reports of children suffering injury and wrongful death when clothing drawstrings get caught on playground equipment or vehicle doors. Since passing its 2011 rule, it has issued 8 recalls. In 2011, the CPSC also fined Macy’s $750,000 for selling children’s upper outerwear with drawstrings.
Ross Stores Fined in Sales of Defective Clothing, New York Times
The organization W.A.T.C.H., or World Against Toys Causing Harm, Inc., has released its annual list of 2012 “10 Worst Toys.” W.A.T.C.H. says the toys on the list can cause children to choke, have sharp parts and carry misleading labels. The defective toys can be found online and in stores, at major retailers such as Toys “R” Us, Walmart and Amazon.
Dangerous toys seriously injure and kill children every year in the United States. In 2010, 17 children were killed in toy-related accidents. The majority were related to choking on balloons, small balls and rubber balls. The same year, about 181,500 children younger than 15 were treated in hospital emergency departments for toy-related injuries.
If you are shopping for young children, take a look at this year’s “10 Worst Toys” list. We have also provided a list of websites to help you make safe purchases below.
The Avengers Gamma Green Smash Fists
Potential for blunt impact injuries and there are no warnings on the package.
Potential for choking injuries.
Power Rangers Super Samurai Shogun Helmet
Potential for impact and puncture wound injuries.
Water Balloon Launcher
Potential for choking and facial injuries. Varying age recommendations online and on the package.
N-Force Vendetta Double Sword
Potential for Impact injuries.
Explore & Learn Helicopter
Potential for strangulation and entanglement injuries. Cord is twice the length allowed by law.
Spinner Shark 4-Wheel Kneeboard
Potential for impact injuries.
Dart Zone Quick Fire 12 Dart Gun
Potential for eye injuries.
Potential for impact and other serious injuries. Children are encouraged to climb inside the inflatable ball. The toy and the packaging have contradicting instructions about supervision.
Magnetic Fishing Game
Potential for choking injuries. Different age recommendations online and on the packaging.
Toy Safety Fact Sheet, Safe Kids.
Toy Safety, U.S. PIRG.
Dangerous Toy Report Details Lead, Choking Hazards, Breakstone, White & Gluck.
Five people have died and at least 35 have fallen ill after being injected with a steroid which was contaminated with fungus from a Massachusetts compounding pharmacy.
The steroid was shipped to 75 health centers in 23 states, not including Massachusetts, according to media reports. Patients treated with the steroid in six states have fallen ill and died from aspergillus meningitis. Symptoms of this rare infection include headache fever, nausea and pain at the injection site.
The steroid was produced at New England Compounding Center of Framingham, Massachusetts. The company first recalled three lots of methylprednisolone acetate last week. This week, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has expanded the recall to include all injectable spinal drugs made by New England Compounding Center. The FDA is further urging health care providers to discard all products from the company as a precaution.
The 35 people who were stricken ill were treated with epidural injections of methylprednisolone acetate for lower back pain between July and September. The infected patients are from Tennessee, Virginia, Maryland, Florida, North Carolina and Indiana. Patients are still being notified. No Massachusetts facilities received the defective steroid injections, but there were shipments within New England to health care providers in Connecticut, Rhode Island and New Hampshire.
Nine Massachusetts health facilities did receive methylprednisolone acetate from other lots made by New England Compounding Center, but no cases of fungus meningitis have been reported.
New England Compounding Center has voluntarily given up its state license and ceased operation. Investigators this week found a contaminated sealed vial of steroid at the company, the FDA reported, and testing is being performed to determine if it is the same fungus as the outbreak.
The Boston Globe reported a state official said the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Pharmacy received complaints about the company in 2002 and 2003. The board worked with the company to improve conditions, but the official did not share details. The board is still investigating another complaint received in March about eye medications.
In 2006, the FDA sent the company a letter stating concerns including its splitting and repacking of the injectable colorectal cancer drug Avastin.
The case shines a light on regulations regarding pharmacies which prepare custom medications, often for patients who have allergies to other medications or for treatments which are no longer commercially available.
New England Compounding Center was not accredited by the Pharmacy Compounding Accreditation Board, which conducts a site visit and review of pharmacy every three years. The accreditation is voluntary.
5 deaths now tied to rare fungal meningitis possibly contracted from steroids prepared by Massachusetts pharmacy, Boston Globe.
Hundreds seen at risk in meningitis outbreak, Associated Press.
Massachusetts Board of Registration in Pharmacy.
The case of a young Michigan girl strangled to death in a vertical blind has prompted the recall of about 139,000 custom-made vertical window blinds and 315,000 horizontal products.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), in cooperation with Blind Xpress of Livonia, Michigan, announced the recall on September 6. The two-year-old girl from Commerce Township was reportedly strangled in the hanging loop of a Blind Xpress vertical blind cord in 2009.
The CPSC is recalling the defective window blinds because the design makes it easy for children to become entangled in the cord loop. Part of the problem is the custom vertical blind cords do not have a cord-tensioning device that attaches to the wall or floor. The horizontal blinds do not have inner cord stop devices.
The CPSC urges consumers to immediately stop using the window blinds and contact the Window Covering Safety Council for a free repair kit. The toll-free number is 800-506-4636.
The CPSC, industry and safety groups have made several efforts over the past couple decades, including recall/retrofit programs. The major push came in 2009, when after the death of 16 children, the industry recalled 55 million Roman Shades with exposed inner cords on the back of the shades.
The Parents for Windows Blind Safety, a non-profit organization which advocates for more stringent regulations, says the hazard lies with cords which stretch more than 7 1/4 inches. It proposes the window blind industry sell cordless blinds or those with inaccessible cords.
- Death of Child Prompts Recall of Window Blinds by Blind Xpress, Consumer Product Safety Commission.
- The History of Corded Window Covering Recalls, Parents for Window Blind Safety.