Dangerous Cribs Are The Culprit in Infant Deaths

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The suffocation deaths of three infants prompted the CPSC to announce the
recall of nearly one million cribs, the second largest recall of its type in the
nation’s history.
But, this latest recall has many asking, what took so long? The faulty-crib recall
was announced two and a half years after Chad and Nicola Johns discovered
their 9-month-old’s lifeless body hanging from a gap between the drop rail and
the mattress.
“That was the worst day ever. There’s nothing that can describe how we were
feeling that day,” Nicola told ABC News.
The California attorney representing the couple notified the CPSC immediately of
the crib-defect, however, no action was taken to protect other parents from this
horrific nightmare. As a result, Tami Arceneaux, discovered her 7-month-old
daughter, Royale, had slowly suffocated to death in her crib.
“She was just precious, my princess. Royale is gone. I can’t bring her back. I
wish I could,” Tami Arceneaux, said as she expressed her grief to the media.
The cribs, sold under the brand names Simplicity and Graco Children’s Products
between January of 1998 and May of 2007, were recalled after three children
became entrapped and suffocated. CPSC is also aware of seven infants who
were dangerously entrapped, as well as, 55 other incidents involving these cribs.
“If you are a parent who has this type of crib, check immediately to see if it’s one
being recalled. If it is, don’t put your child in that crib tonight,” said Patty Davis of
the CPSC.
The Chinese-made cribs’ drop-side failures result from a flaw in both the
hardware and crib design, which allows consumers to unintentionally install the
drop-side upside down. This can weaken the hardware, and cause the drop-side
to detach from the crib, creating a dangerous gap in which infants can become
entrapped.
The recall came after Chicago Tribune reporters told Simplicity and the CPSC
that the paper intended to publish an investigative report on the defective cribs.
“The CPSC didn’t even pick up the crib until after I told them about it,” said
Tribune reporter Maurice Possley. “A kid died in April of ’05, and a kid dies in
November of 2006, and you’re the parents of a kid who dies in February of ’07,
and you know that something could have been done about it? Boy, I’d be really,
really angry.”
Many agree that it is not a lack of concern, but a lack of funding that is causing
delays at the CPSC.
The attorney representing the Johns family added, “They have too many
complaints to investigate, and I think they simply do not have the resources and
staffing to deal seriously and competently with every serious complaint made.”
In a statement to ABC News, the CPSC spokesperson denied the Tribune report
had anything to do with the recall, explaining, “In the last 18 months, we have
conducted two recalls with this company,” and “we are now appreciating the
scope of the issue and the complexity of additional failures.”
In a similar statement, Ken Waldman, CEO of Simplicity, said “Simplicity makes
safe products, and we are constantly seeking ways to make them safer. Working
in conjunction with the CPSC, we decided that this voluntary recall was the
appropriate step to take at this time.”
For the Johns and the other families touched by this tragedy, the recall was too
little, too late. Though the Johns family expressed relief that the dangerous cribs
have been taken of store shelves, nothing can bring their son back to them, and
their shock and frustration remain. “Nobody was listening to what we had to say,”
Nicola told ABC News. “We were trying, but nobody would listen. And two other
children had to die because of it.”

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