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Children's Health

3 Baby Deaths Spur Mass Crib Recall

1 Million Simplicity, Graco Cribs Recalled After Baby Deaths
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WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

Sept. 21, 2007 -- The deaths of three babies has spurred the recall of 1 million Simplicity cribs, including some bearing the Graco label.

Two of the deaths -- a 9-month-old child and a 6-month-old child -- came in older-style Simplicity cribs in which the drop-side was installed upside down, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. The drop-side detached from the cribs, creating a deadly gap that trapped and suffocated the children.

The CPSC says there have been reports of seven infant entrapments and 55 other incidents in these cribs.

Parents who own these cribs should check to see the drop-side is installed correctly. However, there have been at least two incidents in which the drop-side was correctly installed.

The third death, still under investigation by the CPSC, was a 1-year-old child in a Simplicity crib with newer style hardware. In this crib, too, the drop-side was installed upside down.

(What are parents' responsibilities for ensuring they are buying safe baby equipment? Safety4Kids and WebMD want to know how you keep your kids safe.)

The recalled Simplicity crib models include: Aspen 3 in 1, Aspen 4 in 1, Nursery-in-a-Box, Crib N Changer Combo, Chelsea, and Pooh 4 in 1. The recall also involves the following Simplicity cribs that used the Graco logo: Aspen 3 in 1, Ultra 3 in 1, Ultra 4 in 1, Ultra 5 in 1, Whitney and the Trio.

The recalled cribs have one of the following model numbers, which can be found on the envelope attached to the mattress support and on the label attached to the headboard: 4600, 4605, 4705, 5000, 8000, 8324, 8800, 8740, 8910, 8994, 8050, 8750, 8760, and 8996.

All of the cribs were made in China. They were sold in department stores, children’s stores, and mass merchandisers nationwide from January 1998 through May 2007 for between $100 and $300.

Simplicity warns parents to check all of these cribs to see if the drop-side is correctly installed. The company's instructions:

  • Check to see that the slightly rounded rail with the decorative groove is installed at the top and the plain rail is on the bottom.
  • Next, consumers should make sure the drop-side is securely attached to the tracks in all four corners.
  • If the drop-side is installed upside down or not securely attached, consumers should stop using the crib immediately. Incorrect installation can cause permanent damage to the hardware, and reinstalling the drop-side using the same hardware is unsafe.
  • Consumers should check to see if their crib contains the recalled hardware. Recalled hardware has a flexible tab at the bottom of the lower tracks and the top of the lower tracks are open. Newer hardware, which is not subject to the recall, has the flexible tab located at the top of the lower track, and a permanent stop at the bottom.
  • Consumers who have a crib with older style hardware can receive a free repair by immediately contacting Simplicity toll-free at (888) 593-9274 between 8:30 a.m. and 10 p.m. ET Monday through Thursday, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET on Friday, and between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET on Saturday, or by visiting the firm’s web site at www.simplicityforchildren.com.
  • Consumers who have a crib with newer style hardware and have installed the drop-side upside down or have broken hardware should also contact Simplicity immediately.

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