Nearly 5 million Graco and Century-branded strollers are being recalled, following reports of children getting their fingers amputated in the folding hinges at the sides of the strollers, which pose a pinch and laceration hazard.
The Graco stroller recall was announced by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) on November 20, following at least 11 consumer reports involving finger injuries suffered by children, including at least six incidents where the fingertip was amputated, four reports of partial-fingertip amputation and one finger laceration.
The recalled strollers pose a laceration and amputation hazard to children, due to the reachable sliding fold-lock hinge on each side of the stroller. Children may be able to place their fingers and hands into the side of the stroller where the sliding hinge is placed, potentially allowing them to engage the locking mechanism with their fingers inside of the hinge.
Eleven different models of Graco and Century strollers are included in the recall, which impacts roughly 4.7 million strollers sold throughout the United States, about 202,000 in Canada, and an estimated 10,300 in Mexico.
The models were sold under the brand names Aspen, Breeze, Capri, Cirrus, Glider, Kite, LiteRider, Sierra, Solara, Sterling and TravelMate Model Strollers and Travel Systems.
All recalled models are single-occupant strollers, with an external sliding fold-lock hinge on each side and a one-hand fold release mechanism on the handle. The impacted strollers have manufacture dates ranging from August 1, 2000 to September 25, 2014 and have the model numbers and date of manufacture printed on a white label located at the bottom of the stroller leg. For a full list of recalled models and model numbers please visit the CPSC recall announcement.
The strollers were manufactured in China under Graco Children’s Products, of Atlanta, Georgia where they were sold at Target, Toys R Us, Walmart and other retail stores nationwide and online at Amazon.com Walmart.com, and other various online retailers from August 200 through November 2014 for between $40 and $70 for the strollers and about $140 to $170 for the Travel System.
Other Major Stroller Problems This Year
The massive recall is at least the second major problem linked to Graco strollers this year. In June, several models of Graco strollers including the Ready2Grow Classic Connect strollers were placed on the CPSC’s “Don’t Buy: Safety Risk” list, due to a possible roll-away hazard.
The CPSC evaluated the strollers’ braking mechanisms to test the durability and strength claiming that the strollers plastic teeth braking mechanism is not sufficient. The agency tested the strollers by loading the seat of the Ready2Grow Classic Connect stroller with 35-40 pounds and placing the stroller on an 18 degree incline, where it began to slowly give and start rolling away. Upon evaluating the braking mechanism, the agency noticed the plastic teeth designed to lock the strollers brakes in had shown stress marks, leading to the agency questioning the vulnerability and durability of the devices.
Additionally, this is the second recall this year of strollers that carry an amputation risk. In late January 2014, the CPSC announced a Britax stroller recall that impacted roughly 224,000 baby strollers, following reports of the strollers snapping down on customer’s hands, including one report of a partial finger amputation and one incident involving a broken finger with severe lacerations. After receiving the injury reports, an investigation by the CPSC and Britax noticed a risk of problems that may occur when the release button is pressed while pulling on the release strap. When this happens, the stroller may pinch the user’s finger, posing a laceration and amputation hazard.
Due to an influx in infant stroller accidents and injury reports in recent years, the CPSC passed new stroller safety standards on March 4, which will add new requirements to how all strollers and carriages will be made, tested, and labeled.
The new requirements will impact all strollers sold after September 2015, addressing potential risks with head entrapments associated with adjustable grab bars, broken wheels, parking break failures, locking mechanism problems, restraint issues, structural integrity and stability, and hinge issues that have been known to cause pinching and amputations of fingers like those of the latest recall.
Graco is asking to consumers to contact them immediately for a free repair kit at 800-345-4109 or by visiting them online at www.gracobaby.com and navigating to the “Help Center”.
Free Graco recall repair kits will be available in early December 2014. Until then consumers have been urged to exercise extreme care when folding the stroller and to be sure that the hinges lock before placing the children in the stroller. Caregivers should remove children from the strollers immediately if the hinges begin to fold after the hinges have been locked to prevent laceration and amputation hazards.