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Strangulations Prompt Recall of Baby Video Monitors

by The Kid's Doctor Staff

Summer Infant is recalling millions of it’s baby video monitors because of infant strangulations with the monitor’s electrical cord.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), in cooperation with Summer Infant Inc., of Woonsocket, R.I., is announcing the voluntary recall to provide new on product label and instructions for about 1.7 million video baby monitors with electrical cords. Because of this serious strangulation risk, parents and caregivers should never place these and other corded cameras within three feet of a crib.

Over the past year CPSC and the firm have received reports of two strangulation deaths of infants with the electrical cords of Summer Infant video baby monitors. In March 2010 a 10-month old girl from Washington, D.C. strangled in her crib in the electrical cord of a Summer Infant video monitor. The monitor camera had been placed on top of the crib rail.

In November 2010 CPSC received a report of a six-month old boy from Conway, S.C., who strangled in the electrical cord of a baby monitor placed on the changing table attached to the crib. In January 2011 CPSC learned the product involved was a Summer Infant video baby monitor.

CPSC and the firm are also aware of a near strangulation incident in which a 20-month old boy from Pittsburg, Pa. was found in his crib with the camera cord wrapped around his neck. The Summer Infant monitor camera was mounted on the wall, but the child was still able to reach the cord. He was freed from the cord without serious injury.

Summer Infant has initiated a campaign to provide new on-product labels for electric cords and instructions to consumers with the recalled video monitors distributed between January 2003 and February 2011. The baby monitors were sold at major retailers, mass merchandisers, and juvenile products stores nationwide for between $60 and $300. They were sold in more than 40 different models, including handheld, digital, and color video monitors. All video monitors include both the camera (placed in the baby’s room) and the hand held device (some models have two hand-held devices) that enable the caregiver to see and/or hear the baby from a specific distance. The brand “Summer” is found on the product.

The product was manufactured in China.

CPSC offers the following safety tips to prevent deaths and injuries associated with baby monitor cords:

  • Use a wireless baby monitor to avoid risk of strangulation.
  • If using a baby monitor with cords, make sure all cords are out of arms reach of your child.

Safety tips for other corded products:

•            Examine all shades and blinds in your home. Make sure there are no accessible cords on the front, side, or back of the product. CPSC recommends the use of cordless window coverings in all homes where children live or visit.

•            Do not place beds, cribs, play yards and other furniture close to windows because children can climb on them and gain access to window blind cords.

•            Keep wall decorations with ribbons or streamers away from cribs and well out of reach of children.

•            Remove all drawstrings from the neck and hood area of outerwear or jackets of young children, as they pose a strangulation hazard.

CPSC and Summer Infant urge parents to immediately check the location of the video monitors, including cameras mounted on the wall, and all electric cords to make sure the cords are out of arm’s reach of their child. Consumers should contact Summer Infant toll-free at (800) 426-8627 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday or visit the firm’s website at www.summerinfant.com/Home/Product-Recall.aspx to receive a new permanent electric cord warning label about the strangulation risk and revised instructions about how to safely mount camera and keep cords out of child’s reach.

In October 2010 CPSC issued a safety alert warning consumers that there had been six reports of strangulation in baby monitor cords since 2004. Since that alert the number of death reports has risen to seven. CPSC has revised the safety alert: Infants Can Strangle in Baby Monitor Cords.

To see this recall on CPSC’s web site, including pictures of the hazard and the new warning label, please go to: http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml11/11127.html

TSummer Infant video baby monitorSummer Infant Video Baby Monitors

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