Crib, Nursery Injuries Up 21% in 2009 versus 2008

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety (CPSC) this week announced that after decreasing from 2007 to 2008, toddlers were injured due to defective cribs and other nursery items rose 21% in 2009. There were 77,300 emergency room visits for products geared to young children in 2009 – in 2008, that figure was 63,700. 2009 saw the most nursery product recalls in history.

The CPSC report also stated that nursery products and clothing surpassed toys with the most recalls, representing 28 and 27 percent of children’s product recalls, respectively; products were recalled mainly due to entrapment, fall, and choking hazards. Children’s clothing recalls also reached an unexpected high, due to strangulation hazards present in clothing with drawstrings and choking hazards from small detachable parts. Recalls in 2009 totaled 21.1 million units; six recalls involved one million units or more.

Last week, the CPSC joined three child safety organizations at New York-Presbyterian/Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital to release “Safe Sleep for Babies,” a new crib safety video aimed at helping all new parents avoid suffocation, strangulation and entrapment risks in the sleep environment. CPSC also is announcing three new recalls of dangerous drop-side cribs sold at K-Mart and Ethan Allen. Last month, the CPSC announced that ten million Fisher-Price children’s products were being recalled due to dangerous conditions posing choking and other hazards.

This education effort is part of CPSC’s Safe Sleep Initiative, a multi-pronged effort aimed at reducing deaths and injuries associated with unsafe sleep environments. In addition to this education effort, CPSC’s Safe Sleep Initiative includes the development of new crib standards, warnings about drop-side cribs, sleep positioners, and infant slings, and the recall of millions of cribs in the past five years.

CPSC is aware of about 30 crib deaths and hundreds of injuries. Cribs are a leading cause of nursery product-related deaths. About one-third of the deaths result from structural failures of the crib from loose, missing, or detached hardware. The majority of deaths in cribs are attributed to the presence of extra bedding in the crib, such as pillows and comforters.

  • Place infants to sleep on their backs
  • Use a firm, tight-fitting mattress
  • Never use extra padding, blankets or pillows under baby
  • Remove pillows or thick comforters
  • Do not use positioning devices they are not necessary and can be deadly
  • Regularly check cribs for loose, missing or broken parts or slats
  • Do not try to fix a broken crib
  • Place cribs or playpens away from windows and window covering cords to avoid fall and strangulation hazards
  • Place baby monitor cords away from cribs or playpens to avoid strangulation

Drop-sides have been blamed in the deaths of at least 32 infants and toddlers since 2000, and are suspected in another 14 infant fatalities. In the past five years, more than 9 million drop-side cribs have been recalled.

The lawyers at Levine & Slavit have decades of experience handling personal injury claims involving dangerous and defective products, including injuries caused by defective cribs. If you or someone close to you has been injured by a product that was not properly manufactured, designed or labeled, contact the offices of Levine & Slavit in New York or Long Island for their help. We have offices in Manhattan and Long Island, handling cases in New York City, Brooklyn, the Bronx, Queens and surrounding areas including Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester Counties. For 50 years spanning 3 generations, we have obtained results for satisfied clients.

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