1.5 million strollers are recalled

About 1.5 million strollers sold at major retailers including Wal-Mart, Toys R Us and Target are being recalled after several children had their fingertips cut off, the Consumer Product Safety Commission announced Wednesday.

The strollers, manufactured by Graco Children’s Products Inc., have hinges on the canopy that can pose a laceration hazard when being opened or closed. Graco said it received reports that five children had their fingertips severed and two had fingertip cuts.

“Amputations of children’s fingers is a very serious hazard, and it’s one that we hope will motivate parents to respond right away to the recall,” safety commission spokesman Scott Wolfson said.

Wednesday’s action was the second major recall involving strollers in recent months. In November, the government agency announced a recall of about 1 million strollers made by Maclaren USA Inc. after a dozen reports of children’s fingers being severed when caught in the stroller’s hinges.


After the incidents, Wolfson said the commission planned to conduct a comprehensive review of all children’s strollers that could have similar hinge problems.

“The more moving parts you have in a children’s product, the more susceptible that product may be to dangers,” he said. “We’re going to be taking a larger look across this product line.”

The recalled Graco products, which were made in China, include certain models of the Passage, Alano and Spree strollers and travel systems. They were sold at retailers nationwide from October 2004 to December 2009.

Consumers should immediately stop using the strollers and contact Graco at (800) 345-4109 or to receive a free repair kit to cover the hinges, the commission said.

Many parents said they were frustrated to learn that a product they used regularly posed such serious risks.

“I’ve almost caught my finger in there a few times; it’s just not designed very well,” said David van Sunder, 33, an online media consultant from Pacific Grove, Calif., who bought one of the recalled strollers from Babies R Us two years ago. “I’m a little dismayed that something like that could make it through product testing.”

Many merchants responded to the recall by posting the agency’s recall announcement on their websites. Target spokeswoman Beth Hanson said the chain was waiving its usual 90-day return policy to allow customers who own the strollers to bring them back for a refund or store credit.

“Guest safety is definitely top of mind,” Hanson said.

Other retailers that sold the products include Kmart, Sears and Burlington Coat Factory.

The Graco recall came just a day after the safety commission announced the recall of about 635,000 cribs following the death of a 6-month-old child and dozens of reports of safety problems.

The cribs, distributed by Barbados-based Dorel Asia, have 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 trapped 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 or in storage, when it is being put together, taken apart or reassembled, or during shipping and handling.

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

Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) released a statement Wednesday saying the latest recall was “yet another striking example” of the need for stronger consumer safety standards.

“The staggering amount of recalls, especially for products made for children, shows just how imperative this is,” she said. “It is long past time to reevaluate our consumer safety procedures and make the needed improvements.”