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635,000 baby cribs recalled after death of 6-month-old

January 19, 2010 |  1:44 pm

The Consumer Product Safety Commission is recalling 635,000 baby cribs following the death of a 6-month-old child and dozens of reports of safety problems, the government agency said today.

The cribs, distributed by Dorel Asia SRL of Barbados, feature hardware that can fail, causing the drop-side to detach from the crib. When the drop-side detaches, it creates a space in which an infant or toddler can become entrapped and suffocate or strangle, the agency said.

In addition, the cribs can pose an entrapment and strangulation hazard when a slat is damaged. This can occur when the crib is in use, in storage, being put together, taken apart, reassembled or during shipping and handling.

The safety commission said a 6-month-old from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, became entrapped and died in one of the cribs after the drop-side hardware broke. The agency and Dorel Asia received reports of 31 drop-side incidents and 36 incidents of slat breakage; a total of 10 injuries were reported.

Updated: In a separate statement late today by Dorel Asia, the company said it had learned from a safety investigator that the 6-month-old’s crib had been previously broken and that the parents had put duct tape on the crib to hold it together.

“Although tragic, it is important for consumers to understand that the circumstances of this fatality were highly unusual,” Dorel Asia said.

The cribs were manufactured in China and Vietnam and sold at Wal-Mart, K-Mart and Sears stores nationwide from January 2005 through December 2009 for $120 to $700. Several models of the cribs are being recalled.

The safety commission said consumers should immediately stop using the recalled cribs, find an alternative safe sleeping environment, and contact Dorel Asia to receive a free replacement kit. Consumers can also call 866-762-2304.

For more information on today’s recall and other recalled products, click here.

-- Andrea Chang