In a statement issued yesterday, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has urged parents to stop using certain Simplicity bassinets, which could pose a potential risk of infant strangulation. At least two babies have died when their head became trapped between the bassinet’s metal bars.
The CPSC’s safety alert involves 4-in-1 and 3-in-1 convertible “close sleeper/bedside sleeper” bassinet models manufactured by Simplicity Inc., of Reading, Pennsylvania.
The metal bars in the Simplicity 3-in-1 and 4-in-1 convertible bassinets are more than 2 3/8 inches apart, which is the maximum distance stipulated under the Crib Federal Safety standard.
An adjustable fabric flap covering the metal bar is folded when the bassinet is to be converted into a bedside co-sleeping position. The fabric flap is fastened by Velcro, which needs to be properly adjusted when the flap is re-secured. Failure to do so can cause an infant to slip through the opening and get entrapped in the metal bars and die due to suffocation.
On August 21, 2008, the CPSC was informed of a strangulation death of a 5-month-old girl from Shawnee, Kansas, which occurred when she was trapped between the bassinet’s metal bars. An earlier report had been received by the product safety commission involving the September 2007 death of a 5-month old girl from Noel, Missouri, who suffered a similar death.
Simplicity, Inc., who manufactured the bassinets, had all of their assets purchased by another company, SFCA, Inc. at a public auction in April 2008.
A Simplicity bassinet recall has not been issued, since SFCA, Inc. has failed to cooperate with the U.S. CPSC and issue a recall. It is their position that they are not responsible for the safety of products previously made by Simplicity, Inc.
Due to the serious health hazard posed to babies by the use of Simplicity bassinets, the CPSC has urged all families and friends, day care centers and consignment stores to stop using the Simplicity convertible bassinets covered by this warning.