Product recalls often ignored

  • Wednesday, November 21, 2001 9:00pm
  • Business

Associated Press

WASHINGTON — More than 23 million products deemed potentially harmful to children may still be in American homes despite recalls, the government says, issuing its annual holiday safety warning.

Dusting off old playpens for family gatherings and handing down used toys from older children can lead to accidents and injuries, the Consumer Product Safety Commission said. Families should check whether old products have been recalled and keep those products away from children, the agency said.

For a full list of recalled products, consumers can call the safety commission toll free at 800-638-2772.

Some of the products recalled this year that may still be lurking in attics, basements, toy boxes or closets:

  • Lane Cedar Chests: 12 million distributed by Lane Co. The lids on chests made before 1987 automatically latch shut when closed, and 10 children have suffocated inside. To get new locks, consumers can call the company at 888-856-8758.

  • Century Car Seats/Carriers: 4 million distributed by Century products. When used as an infant carrier, the handle can break, causing a baby to fall to the ground and suffer serious injuries. There have been 2,700 reports of problems and 200 injuries. To get a free replacement handle, call Century at 800-865-1419.

  • Evenflo Joyride Car Seats/Carriers: 3.4 million distributed by Evenflo Co. Inc. As an infant carrier, models 203, 205, 210, 435, 493 have handles that can unexpectedly release, causing the seat to flip forward, allowing an infant to fall. There were 240 reports of handles releasing and 97 injuries. For a free repair kit, call Evenflo at 800-557-3178.

  • Safety 1st Fold-Up Booster Seat: 1.5 million distributed by Safety 1st. With models 173, 173A and 173B, the top half of the booster seat insert can separate, causing a child to fall and be injured. There were 32 reports where the seat halves separated and seven injuries. For a free repair kit, call Safety 1st at 888-579-1730.

  • Zapper Toys: 940,000 distributed by nine firms. These animal-shaped toys have balloon tongues that can detach, along with the cylinders holding the tongues. One firm received a report of a 3-year-old boy who inhaled a detached balloon tongue into his sinus cavity and required medical treatment to remove it. Consumers should throw away the toys or take them back to the place of purchase for a refund.

  • Twister Portable Lamps: 480,000 distributed by Emess Lighting Inc. and SLI Lighting Solutions Inc. The lamp’s bulb can become hot, presenting a risk of burn injuries and the risk of fire if the bulb touches combustibles. There have been five injuries and 12 reports of property damage. To get a free repair kit, call 800-366-2579.

  • Sassy Rattles: 455,000 distributed by Sassy Inc. The rattles have sewn-on fabric eyes that can detach, posing a choking hazard. The company received 129 reports of eyes detaching and one incident of a child starting to choke. Consumers should take these rattles away from young children and return to them Sassy for a free replacement. Call Sassy at 800-781-1080.

  • Little Tikes Swings: 250,000 distributed by Little Tikes Co. The buckles on the swing can break and the shoulder restraint straps can pull out of the back of the seat, causing young children to fall. There have been 14 reports of problems and five injuries. To receive a free repair kit, call Little Tikes at 800-815-4820.

  • Cosco Playpens: 102,000 distributed by Dorel Juvenile Group. The Zip ‘n’ Go, Okie Dokie and Carters models have plastic tabs that lock the rails into the corners. The tabs can break or loosen over time, allowing the rails to collapse. There were 421 reports of rails not locking. One baby died when his chest was caught in the collapsed sides of his playpen. For a replacement or refund, consumers can call Dorel Juvenile Group at 800-314-9327.

  • Baby Trend Portable Cribs/Play Yards: 100,000 distributed by Baby Trend Inc. The Home and Roam and Baby Express models can collapse and entrap infants. There have been five deaths and three reports of babies found not breathing who were revived. To get a free new play yard, call Baby Trend at 800-328-7363.

    Copyright ©2001 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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