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FOR RELEASE: April 18, 2000
CONTACT: Dick Gunn

Recall Round-Up Aimed at Hazardous Products

For the fourth consecutive year, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and the Oklahoma SAFE KIDS Coalition are conducting a "Recall Round-Up" to get hazardous products out of people's homes. Despite recall notices and public warnings, consumers are still using many products with the potential to seriously injure or kill.

CPSC has enlisted the help of SAFE KIDS, a program of the Oklahoma State Department of Health, to help publicize the safety campaign and distribute information on the hazardous products. In a check at six Oklahoma City resale shops, volunteers found unsafe child safety seats, hair dryers, toys, and children's clothing with drawstrings that can strangle.

"The CPSC can get new dangerous products off store shelves, but the real challenge is to get old products that could be hazardous out of families' homes and resale shops," said Martha Collar, SAFE KIDS coordinator.

Today's launch of the "Recall Round-Up" includes a list of recalled products. Here's a sample:

  • Infant car seats/carriers with handles that can unexpectedly release, causing the seat to flip forward and the infant to fall. Three brands of carriers have been recalled: Evenflo Model 297 and 492 made before July 27, 1997; Cosco Arriva and Turnabout, models made before September 9, 1997; and Kolcraft Infant Rider, Secura and other models made from January 1, 1993, through June 30, 1999. Consumers should call the company to receive a free repair kit.
  • In general, purchasing used car seats is not recommended unless the new owner can verify that the seat has not been in a crash and that it is not a recalled seat. A used seat may have a missing label, making verification difficult. For a complete list of recalled seats, check out www.carseat.org/Recalls/179.shtml on the Internet. Check the brand name, model number and date of manufacture.
  • Pokemon balls included with Burger King kids meals may pose a suffocation hazard to children under 3 years of age if either half of the ball gets stuck on the child's face, covering the nose and mouth. More than 25 million Pokemon balls were distributed in November and December 1999. At least two children have suffocated and CPSC is aware of several other non-fatal incidents. These toys should be thrown away or returned to Burger King.
  • Swimming pool dive sticks can cause rectal or vaginal impalement if children jump into a shallow pool and fall or land on the dive stick. CPSC knows of nine impalement injuries and three non-impalement injuries to children 5 to 11 years old. Consumers should throw away these products or depending on the brand, return to the company for a refund or replacement.
  • Tubular metal cribs made by Cosco, Inc., before September 1997 can entrap or strangle a baby. These cribs can be misassembled, creating a distance between the side rail slats that allows an infant to become entrapped. There have been 27 reports of babies becoming entrapped because of misassembly, resulting in one death. In addition, the mattress can compress and be pushed between the bars on the crib's platform, permitting a baby to slip between the bars of the crib's platform and become entrapped. This has resulted in 12 complaints of entrapment, resulting in one death. Consumers should call Cosco to make sure the crib is properly assembled and to get a new, safer mattress.
  • Old cribs and other products made before CPSC's safety standards can choke, strangle or suffocate children. Old cribs with more than 2 3/8 inches between slats, or cribs with corner posts or cutouts on the headboard or footboard can present hazards. Bunk beds with spaces bigger than 3 ½ inches can cause entrapment and strangulation.
  • Other hazards: Hair dryers without built-in shock protection devices in the plug can cause electrocution. Drawstrings around the neck of jackets and sweatshirts can strangle a child. All of these products should be thrown away and not sold in garage sales or given to thrift stores.

CPSC's toll-free consumer hotline and its Web site provide information on recalled products and information on what to look for when buying products. Call 800-638-2772 or visit their Web site at www.cpsc.gov.


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