MADIGAN'S INVESTIGATION LEADS TO EXPANDED NATIONAL RECALL OF SIMPLICITY BASSINETS
Attorney General's Office Discovers Hazardous Bassinets Remained on Store Shelves
Chicago — An extensive investigation conducted by Attorney General Lisa Madigan's office has resulted in an expanded national recall of Simplicity bassinets. Madigan's office contacted the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) on Wednesday, September 3, 2008, to report the information discovered during the investigation. Based on the information discovered by Madigan's office, the CPSC acted immediately and expanded the recall late Wednesday to include all defectively designed bassinets - not just the specific model numbers included in the CPSC's August 28, 2008, notice.
"The CPSC's August 28 notice provided a list of specific bassinets with a dangerous design flaw. In response to that notice, we began investigating to make sure that bassinets with this deadly defect were not still on store shelves in Illinois ," said Madigan. "We purchased a number of bassinets with product numbers not covered by the notice and discovered that these bassinets also have the same faulty design and, shockingly, were still on the market for sale to parents. We immediately contacted the CPSC and began working to protect infants by making sure that retailers have the information they need to remove these products from stores."
Late Wednesday, the CPSC immediately communicated with retailers and emphasized the risks associated with the defective bassinets. Specifically, the CPSC sent an urgent safety notice to retailers, revising the scope of the Simplicity bassinet recall. The urgent notice stated: "Working with the Illinois Attorney General's Office, we have become aware that additional model numbers of the recalled units may not have been included in what was provided to you. Based upon this new information, we are providing you the photos below of the original and modified design. Before selling any Simplicity Bassinet, you should take steps to ensure only the redesigned units are being sold . This will require a visual observation of the units you intend to sell."
The recall covers the convertible "close-sleeper/bedside sleeper" bassinets manufactured by Simplicity Inc., of Reading , Pa. , and sold by major retailers across the country and in Illinois for approximately $100. The Simplicity 3-in-1 and 4-in-1 convertible bassinets contain metal bars that are covered by an adjustable fabric flap which is attached by Velcro. The fabric can be folded down to convert the bassinet into a bed-side co-sleeping position. In that situation, if the Velcro is not properly re-secured when the flap is adjusted, an infant can slip through the opening and become trapped in the metal bars and suffocate to death, which has occurred twice in the last year.
The expanded recall does not include bassinet models in which the fabric is permanently attached and stitched over the lower bar creating a barrier that prevents an infant from slipping through the bars.
In response to the August 28 recall, Madigan's office discovered that the Simplicity bassinets were readily available and acquired five separate bassinets through purchases from local retailers, via the Internet and through Craigslist. All five of the bassinets that Madigan's office purchased had the defective design even though the model numbers of those bassinets were not included in the CPSC's August 28 notice.
To help avoid confusion among retailers, parents and other caregivers, the Attorney General is launching an extensive statewide outreach campaign to inform the public about the recall, make sure retailers have effectively removed the defective bassinets from their shelves and urge parents to stop using the bassinets immediately.
Madigan encouraged families, caregivers and retailers with questions to call her office's recall hotline at 1-888-414-7678. This hotline is designed to help callers identify recalled products in their homes and explain how consumers can contact companies to repair or return affected products.
"We are working to raise awareness of product recalls on all fronts," Madigan said. "This hotline is another way for parents and consumers to learn the latest information on product recalls including the Simplicity Bassinets so that they can keep their children safe."
In 2005, the Illinois General Assembly passed new amendments to the Illinois Children's Product Safety Act to help consumers by requiring manufacturers and retail merchants to post recall notices both in their stores and on their Web sites. The recall notification process was further strengthened by requiring manufacturers and retail merchants to alert, by e-mail or mail, Illinois consumers who purchased recalled children's products online. Illinois was the first state to enact such comprehensive child safety notification measures.
Consumers can sign up to receive e-mail notification of recalls as they are issued at www.cpsc.gov. Consumers can select to receive notification from several topics, including: infant or child product recalls, sports or recreation product recalls, outdoor product recalls and household product recalls. Last year, 466 products were recalled by the CPSC and e-mail notification provides an additional alternative for consumers to