Summer Infant Baby Video Monitor Recall Issued After Strangulation Deaths
About 1.7 million video baby monitors with electrical cords are being recalled so that new warnings and instructions can be provided after at least two infants strangled to death when the monitor camera was placed too close to the crib.
The baby video monitor recall was announced by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) on Friday in cooperation with the manufacturer, Summer Infant, Inc.
One of the deaths associated with the video monitors involved a 10-month old girl from Washington, D.C. who strangled in her crib after being caught in the cord of a monitor placed on the top of the crib rail. The other was a six-month-old boy in Conway, South Carolina, who strangled in November in the cord of a monitor placed on a changing table attached to the crib.
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In addition to the two deaths, the CPSC reported that there was a near strangulation of a 20-month old boy from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, who was found with the cord of a Summer Infant video monitor around his neck. The baby monitor had been attached to the wall, but he was still able to reach the cord.
In addition to the general recall due to a strangulation risk, the CPSC and Summer are also recalling about 58,000 Slim and Secure video monitors due to batteries that can overheat and rupture. Summer Infant has received at least five reports of batteries rupturing, including three that resulted in minor property damage.
In October, the CPSC reported in a baby monitor safety alert (pdf) that a total of seven children had died since 2002 because their monitors were placed too close to the crib and they became entangled in the cord. The November death brings the total to eight.
The CPSC issued a number of baby monitor safety tips, urging parents to:
- Check the location of corded monitors, including those mounted on the wall, to make sure the cords are out of arm’s reach of their children.
- Place cords more than three feet away from any part of the crib, bassinet, play yard or other safe sleep area.
- Check the location of the monitor periodically, as what is within arm’s reach to a baby will change as the baby grows.
- If a movement monitor is used, make sure the sensor cords are taut and not dangling to reduce the strangulation hazard.
- Make sure children do not have access to any other products that use cords, including ribbons, drawstrings and window coverings.
The Summer Infant baby monitor recall affects all video monitors sold between January 2003 and February 2011. The monitors were sold in 40 different models, including hand held, digital and color versions. The monitors include the camera and one or two hand-held monitoring devices and will be labeled “Summer.”
The monitors were sold at retailers, children’s product stores and mass merchandisers nationwide for between $60 and $300.
The Slim and Secure monitors, which are being recalled due to the battery ruptures, were sold in a silver and white with a model number of 02800 and in pink and white with a model number of 02805. The receivers have the defective batteries, which are marked with the letters MP or BK in the lower right corner. Batteries marked TCL are not affected by the recall. The Slim and Secure baby video monitors were sold exclusively at Babies R Us from September 2009 through May 2010 for about $200.
As a result of the strangulations, Summer Infant is recalling the monitors in order to place new on-product labels on the electrical cords and to provide new instructions to consumers. Parents do not have to return the monitors. They can contact Summer Infant at 1-800-426-8627 or through the website at www.summerinfant.com/Home/Product-Recall.aspx for a new electric cord warning label and revised instructions.
Consumers with the Slim and Secure baby video monitors should stop using them immediately and contact Summer Infant to return the batteries and receive free replacements.
Photo via U.S. CPSC
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