Deaths in strollers are rare (about two a year on average) and this is believed to be the first stroller recall ever linked to a death. This stroller recall is particularly alarming given that the deaths occurred between 2003 and 2005 and parents have been unaware of the danger.
CPSC spokesman Scott Wolfson told Consumer Ally that he does not know of any deaths connected to prior stroller recalls and that this recall was issued now as a result of a hard look at stroller safety.
"Today's Graco stroller recall is tied to an effort by CPSC to do a new review of old stroller incidents," he said. "Our concern with the recalled Graco strollers is that they pose a serious entrapment hazard and need to repair to prevent further deaths or injuries."
If you have one of the strollers you should stop using it until you get a repair kit from Graco. It is still safe, the CPSC said, to use car seat in the travel system models being recalled.
The executive director of Kids in Danger, one of the nation's most prominent child safety advocacy groups, told Consumer Ally she can't understand why it took so long after the first death to issue this recall.
"The fatal flaws in these strollers were obvious once the first child died -- in 2003," Nancy Cowles said. "And yet here we are seven years later just getting around to alerting parents to the danger. We're glad to see these strollers recalled, but wonder what was the delay?"
In addition to the four deaths in these Chinese-made strollers, the CPSC said there were at least five other incidents in which infants were trapped in these strollers -- including one in which a baby was left gasping for air.
Just last week the CPSC issued a safety alert about strollers following the relatively small recall of two lesser known strollers. The agency warned parents to not leave babies sleeping unattended in strollers.
The risk to infants, the CPSC said, is that an infant -- when not harnessed -- can slide though the opening between the stroller tray and the bottom of the seat and get trapped by the tray The agency said the industry standard for how strollers are made was changed in 2008, so only those strollers made prior to that are being recalled. The change, a voluntary standard adhered to by most manufacturers, increased the size of the openings to prevent the risk of infants being trapped and strangled.
Cowles said the standard was changed back then, in part, because of the deaths. Details of the deaths were provided in 2004 to an industry committee the CPSC is part of, she said.
"This incident was well known," Cowles said.
Graco Quattro Tour strollers and travel systems made before November 2006 are subject to the recall. Metro Lite strollers and travel systems made before July 2007 are being recalled. They were sold nationwide between November 2000 and December 2007 for $100-$250.
Model numbers can be found above the rear wheels or underneath the strollers. The recalled models are:
- Quattro Tour strollers 35735, 35759, 7111ASB, 7111BKW, 7111CLN, 7111CUN, 7111DIA, 7111HEA, 7111HIG,7111LAG, 7111KSH, 7112CNP, 7112MTR, 7113CJR, 7113CMR, 7113COT, 7119GGG, 7119WSR, 7121MAY, 7125QST, 7126RNS, 7127LEG, 7132RXY, 7134SMB, 7138RNS.
- Quattro travel system models: 35760, 7411ATR, 7411BGN, 7411BGN2, 7411BLB, 7411KBK, 7411KBK2, 7411LV, 7411MCH, 7411MCH2, 7411MLY, 7411MLY2, 7419LIM, 7419LIM2, 7419OWD2, 7B00BDA, 7B00DRB, 7B00KAS, 7B01MNS, 7B03CST2, 7B03LTC2, 7B03TFE2.
- MetroLite strollers: 1104, 1240, 6110DW, 6110F3, 6110S7, 6110TS7, 6111FKB, 6111VIN, 6113SCR, 6114HAV, 6114JAM,6114LAG, 6114NGS, 6116NRF, 6120SHL, 6121CJG, 6121CNP, 6121GGG, 6121MTR, 6123EME, 6124LRD, 6125SMB, 6J01DAI, 6J01HRL, 6J03RIT, 6J04JEN, 6J05MIN.
- MetroLite travel systems: 1070, 7000KSB, 7308DEL, 7308DEL2, 7308DEL4, 7308TYR, 7308TYR2, 7406PLT, 7408MRT,7409GRG, 7410CON, 7413CML, 7413MRN, C7413CML.
Earlier this year, Graco recalled 1.5 million strollers after a series of fingertip amputations.
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