Death Prompts Recall

Peg Perego is recalling 223,000 strollers due to a risk of strangulation. The recall follows the death of a 6 month old boy from California whose head became entrapped between the seat and the tray. A 7 month old girl from NY also became entrapped when her head was stuck between the seat and the tray in 2006.

The strollers involved are older.


The recall involves two different older versions of the Peg Perego strollers, Venezia and Pliko-P3, manufactured between January 2004 and September 2007, in a variety of colors. They were manufactured prior to the existence of the January 2008 voluntary industry standard which addresses the height of the opening between the stroller's tray and the seat bottom. The voluntary standard requires larger stroller openings that prevent infant entrapment and strangulation hazards.

Only strollers that have a child tray with one cup holder are part of this recall. Strollers with a bumper bar in front of the child or a tray with two cup holders are not included in this recall.

To read the entire notice from the CPSC click here.

Kolcraft has also announced a recall of approximately 5600 strollers after receiving reports of the front wheel assembly breaking which can pose a fall hazard. To read the notice click here.

The front wheel assembly can break, posing a fall hazard to the child in the stroller. In addition, for strollers manufactured in January and February 2012, the nuts that hold the stroller's basket support screws in place can detach. Detached nuts can pose a choking hazard to young children.

The recall involves the Contours Options LT Tandem strollers with model number ZT012.


Target Recalls Booster Seats

Target has expanded a recall of Circo Booster Seats. This recall of 375,000 seats is in addition to a recall of 43,000 recalled in August 2009.

Hazard: The booster seat’s restraint buckle can open unexpectedly, allowing a child to fall from the chair and be injured. Read the notice

Some of the recalled booster seats were sold back in 2005. Consumers are advised to immediately stop using the seat to secure children.


A picture of the booster seat is below:

If your child has suffered an injury due to negligence of another, contact the Law Office of D. Hardison Wood at 919.233.0520 so we may discuss protecting your child's rights.

Mandatory Standard for Toddler Beds Approved

The CPSC unanimously approved new safety standards for toddler beds.

The new federal standard requires the following:

* The upper edge of the guardrail must be at least five inches above the toddler bed's mattress.
* Spindle/slat strength testing for toddler beds must be consistent with the testing required for crib spindles/slats.
* Separate warning labels to address entrapment and strangulation hazards must appear on toddler beds.

From 2005 to 2010 the CPSC has been made aware of 122 incidents from toddler beds of which 4 were deaths and 43 injuries.


The Consumer Product Safety Act of 2008 mandated that the commission put into place safety standards for toddler beds.

To read more click here.

If you or your child has suffered personal injuries from a product failure or due to the negligence of another contact the Law Office of D. Hardison Wood at 919.233.0520 today so we may discuss your legal rights.

CPSC Database?

According to Safety Research & Strategies, Inc., the CPSC is getting ready to vote on a Final Rule to establish a consumer complaint database.SRS President Sean Kane, recently testified in front of the CPSC and urged them to produce a database that provided enough information on the product, date and incident.

Like the NHTSA consumer complaint database, the consumer product database will add to the tools available for surveillance and for educating consumers who often have little viable information on the potential hazards associated with products they purchase,” Kane said in comments to the commission. (Read more- SRS Blog)


The vote on the Final rule is scheduled for November 17 and if passed would be scheduled to be launched in March.

CPSC Spokesman Scott Wolfson said that all the amendments served one purpose: to make the database as factually accurate as possible, “to ensure the highest value level of trust in the database once it goes live.”

If you have suffered a personal injury due to a product defect or some other means, contact the Law Office of D. Hardison Wood at 919-233-0520.


Drop Side Cribs Recalled

The CPSC issued three separate announcements regarding drop side crib recalls. Those that have been recalled include approximately 3,250 Ethan Allen cribs, 3,400 Angel Line cribs, and 34,000 Victory Land cribs sold exclusively at Kmart. They have been recalled due to strangulation and entrapment worries.

The notice for the Ethan Allen cribs said the following:

Hazard: The crib’s drop-side rail hardware can malfunction, detach or otherwise fail, causing part of the drop side rail to detach from the crib. When the drop-side rail partially detaches, it creates a space between the drop side and the crib mattress. An infant or toddler’s body can become entrapped in the space, which can lead to strangulation and/or suffocation. A child can also fall out of the crib. Drop-side incidents can also occur due to incorrect assembly and with age-related wear and tear.

Incidents/Injuries: Ethan Allen has received five reports of incidents involving the crib’s drop-side detaching, resulting in bumps and bruises to three children. One child became entrapped and two children fell out of the crib after the drop side detached, one child received a pinched hand and one child received an unspecified injury.


The notice for the Angel Line products reported:

Hazard: The crib’s drop-side rail hardware can malfunction, detach or otherwise fail, causing part of the drop-side rail to detach from the crib. When the drop-side rail partially detaches, it creates a space between the drop side and the crib mattress. An infant or toddler’s body can become entrapped in the space, which can lead to strangulation and/or suffocation. A child can also fall out of the crib. Drop-side incidents also can occur due to age-related wear and tear.

Incidents/Injuries: CPSC is aware of one incident in which the crib’s drop side detached. No injuries have been reported.

The notice about the Kmart exclusive drop side cribs states:

Hazard: The crib’s drop-side rail can malfunction, detach or otherwise fail, causing part of the drop-side to detach from the crib. When the drop-side rail partially detaches, it creates a space between the drop side and the crib mattress. An infant or toddler’s body can become entrapped in the space, which can lead to strangulation and/or suffocation. A child can also fall out of the crib. Drop-side incidents can also occur due to age-related wear and tear.

Incidents/Injuries: CPSC and Victory Land Group have received 17 reports of incidents involving drop-side rail detachments from the cribs. Three infants received bruises and abrasions to the neck, back and legs after becoming entrapped when the drop-side detached.

The notices for all three recalls may be found on the CPSC website.

If your child has suffered an injury from a product defect, car accident, day care related injury or any other personal injury, contact the Law Office of D. Hardison Wood at 919-233-0520.

Window Warning form CPSC

A few weeks ago, the CPSC published a release warning parents about opening their windows during this time of beautiful weather. Though it is quite tempting to leave the windows open, it can prove to be a serious safety hazard to children. Children can fall out of an open window by pushing up against the screen or climbing on furniture near the window. These accidents can be prevented by simple parent supervision or by installing window guards.

Children can face serious injuries from these accidents. On average, approximately 3300 children five and under are treated in the emergency room and an estimated eight deaths occur per year from children falling from a window. Injuries are more common around this time of the year due to the weather outside, so it is especially important to be careful during the spring and summer months.
Here are some safety tips from the CPSC to help prevent window fall injuries:
• Safeguard your children by using window guards or window stops. 
         Install window guards to prevent children from falling out of windows. (For windows on the   6th floor and below, install window guards that adults and older children can open easily in case of fire.) 
         Install window stops so that windows open no more than 4 inches.
• Never depend on screens to keep children from falling out of windows.
• Whenever possible, open windows from the top -- not the bottom.
• Keep furniture away from windows, to discourage children from climbing near windows.
• Some jurisdictions require landlords to install guards. Check your local regulations.

If your child has been injured due to another’s negligence, contact the Law Office of D. Hardison Wood at 1-877-829-7211.

Seven Crib Recalls

The CPSC announced today that seven manufacturers announced recalls due to entrapment, suffocation and fall risks. The manufacturers involved include, Child Craft, Delta Enterprise, Corp., Evenflo, Jardine Enterprises, LaJobi, Million Dollar Baby and Simmons Juvenile Products.

“Cribs should be the safest place in the home for infants and toddlers,” said CPSC Chairman Inez Tenenbaum. “CPSC is committed to addressing the hazards with cribs and to restoring parents’ confidence that their child will have a safe sleep.”

CPSC continues to actively investigate various cribs for potential drop-side and other hazards as part of a larger effort by the agency to rid the marketplace and homes of unsafe cribs. CPSC staff is also working on a new mandatory standard to make cribs safer, which is targeted for completion in 2010

According to the announcement the manufacturers listed are offering immobilization kits to prevent the drop-side from detaching. However, these kits do not solve the hazards if there exists broken or damaged hardware. Further, the CPSC recommends not using a crib more than 10 years old, since the hardware could be damaged by wear and tear.

Nine million drop-side cribs have been recalled over the past five years. CPSC staff has determined drop-side cribs generally have a tendency to be less structurally sound than cribs with four fixed sides.

The Crib Information Center is a great resource for additional information. If your child has suffered an injury, contact us to discuss preserving your chil's rights.

Bike Helmet Safety

Bike Noob, a blog written by a "biking newbie", has an interesting article on helmet safety and effectiveness over here entitled "Helmets - not as safe as they're cracked up to be?"

The article discusses a study by Dr. Keatinge, who is a member of the editorial board of the Bicycle Helmet Research Foundation.  Apparently in Dr. Keatinge's review of the available literature on the efficacy of bike helmets, there is "[n]o clear evidence from countries that have enforced the wearing of helmets" showing they do any real good to the wearer in an accident.

In our course of representing numerous bicycle riders who have been injured in a motor vehicle accident while riding their bike, we have found that a good number of these riders have come across the same studies and usually have a done a good deal of research into the question of whether or not wearing a helmet is even worth the trouble.  Some of them, unfortunately, have chosen not to wear a helmet, and because the literature is inconclusive, one can hardly blame them.  We've even reviewed studies suggesting that the wearing of a bike helmet makes the rider statistically more likely to be involved in an accident with a motor vehicle.

Bike Noob ends the article with sage advice:

I’ve fallen three times in the last nine months. No serious injuries, but all three crashes were my fault. That’s a pretty good indicator that I’m likely to fall again. A helmet won’t save me from my own stupidity, carelessness, or inattention while riding, but it will improve the odds that my noggin won’t be damaged if I do go down.

We agree.  Though we don't have a statiscally significant sample of bike wrecks to draw from, in our experience, riders who have worn helmets walk away from crashes that riders who do not wear helmets never get up from.  On the flip, we'll look at the standard a little more closely.

Part 1203 of Title 16 of the CFRs is entitled "SAFETY STANDARD FOR BICYCLE HELMETS" (note *pdf link).  This is a CPSC regulation, as they are the chief regulator for products like bicycle helmets and it includes a CPSC performance test in four areas: (a) peripheral vision, (b) positional stability, (c) dynamic strength, and the most important, (d) impact attenuation.

The impact attentuation test derives from SAE standard J211 - OCT88, covering the instrumentation required to adequately perform this test.  The impact attentuation test seeks compliance of the helmet with a "worst case scenario" and thus it is modified depending on the helmet type.  If the helmet fails this test it may not be sold as a CPSC approved helmet.

Not to get too labored with specifics, but the test is a drop test which simulates the impact a rider would expect to receive traveling around 14mph and falling from the bike.  In addition, the test impacts different types of anvils to simulate different road conditions, including the dreaded "curb anvil" which simulates a rider falling onto a curb head first.

All impacts must fall within the range of force thresholds that are below the generally accepted head injury thresholds.  Moreover, a series of tests is done to ensure that the helmets perform routinely and consistently.  Thus the test provides for real world, foreseeable accidents, where without the device, the rider would be subject to forces on their skull above commonly accepted injury thresholds, and consequently with the device, the rider is not subject to the same force levels.

This is not to say that you can't be injured while riding a bicycle with a helmet.  But one of the most common accident situations is a low speed fall from a bike onto a curb or roadway, and without a helmet these injuries can be serious, and sometimes deadly.  This test helps ensure that the helmet can withstand this easily foreseeable accident and reduce the probability or likelihood of injury by a significant amount.

As the purpose of the rule states: the purpose and basis of this standard is to reduce the likelihood
of serious injury and death to bicyclists resulting from impacts to the head

In other words, not even the CPSC thinks wearing a CPSC approved bicycle helmet will "prevent" head injury.  But it is proven that helmets which keep injurious forces from reaching the wearer's head in foreseeable accidents will make the ride "more safe".  And that is all, at the end of the day, we can ask for... making an enjoyable activity "more safe" by the wearing of a light, non-uncomfortable safety device.

Or as Bike Noob concluded: I for one am going to strap on my $35 CPSC-certified helmet and keep riding.

If you or someone you know has been in an accident while riding their bicycle, please consider contacting the Law Office of D. Hardison Wood in Cary, North Carolina.  We have handled a number of bicycle injuries and accidents and have even successfully concluded several helmet defect cases and may be able to assist you in protecting your legal rights.  Our contact page is here.

Soccer Goals Recalled

190,000 soccer goals were recalled after a child's death.

About 190,000 MacGregor and Mitre folding soccer goals were recalled Tuesday, after the death of a young child.

The CPSC said the netting had gaps that were 20 square inches apart. Ideally they should be less than 17 square inches or greater than 28 sqaure inches in order to prevent a child becoming trapped or possible strangulation.

Parents and caregivers are advised to stop using the nets, which can be returned to Regent Sports in exchange for a free, safe replacement. For more information, call 877-516-9707

This is yet another in a long line of recently recalled products whereby the safety standards for gaps and spaces may have been ignored thereby causing a serious child safety issue. If your child has been adversely affected by a product, and you feel our firm may be able to assist you, please do not hesitate to contact us.