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US recalls a million China-made cribs after 3 baby deathsnews
22 September 2007

Mumbai: A day after US toy giant Mattel apologised to China for the massive recall of China-made toys, including some that met US safety standards, US authorities announced a recall of a million cribs made in China after at least three babies became trapped and died.

The US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has ordered the recall of older-style `Simplicity cots'' and Graco cribs sold by Simplicity Inc after three children got entrapped and suffocated to death.

The recall comes more than two years after a California lawyer alerted the US federal agency about a 9-month-old who died in a faulty crib whose drop-side could became detached, creating a gap that trapped the child.

The commission said there were also seven other reported cases where babies had become trapped in their cribs while more than 60 other incidents had been reported.

In all three deaths, consumers had installed the drop-rail side of the crib upside down, the agency said. This creates a gap in the crib that children can slide into and suffocate.

The cribs "were sold in department stores, children''s stores and mass merchandisers nationwide from January 1998 through May 2007 for between $100 and $300", the commission said in a statement.

CPSC has asked consumers to "check to see if their crib contains the recalled hardware. Recalled hardware has a flexible tab at the bottom of the lower tracks and the top of the lower tracks are open. Newer hardware, which is not subject to the recall, has the flexible tab located at the top of the lower track, and a permanent stop at the bottom."

"CPSC is warning parents and caregivers to check all Simplicity cribs to make sure the drop-side is installed right side up," the statement said.

"The drop-side failures result from both the hardware and crib design, which allow consumers to unintentionally install the drop-side upside down. This, in turn, can weaken the hardware and cause the drop-side to detach from the crib. When the drop-side detaches, it creates a gap in which infants can become entrapped," it said.

Reading, Pennsyilvania-based Simplicity Inc, manufacturers of the cribs, got them made in China. The recalled cribs were sold under the Simplicity or Graco brands, from January 1998 through May 2007.

The recall involves multiple models and model numbers.

Simplicity president Ken Waldman said the newer model cribs are safe, even though the 1-year-old died in one of the updated versions.

"Simplicity strives to make safe products; that is our number one priority. That''s why we worked with the CPSC to take this action," Ken Waldman, the President of Pennsylvania-based Simplicity, said in a statement.

The recall is set to again rattle US consumers about the safety of Chinese products after a series of scares involving popular toys.

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US recalls a million China-made cribs after 3 baby deaths