By Jackie Burrell
Thursday, August 28th, 2008 at 9:58 pm in Health & Safety.
OK, this is unbelievable. The Consumer Product Safety folks issued an urgent warning tonight to parents and day care centers to immediately stop using Simplicity bedside sleepers (pictured to the left), after two babies became trapped and strangled to death … and the manufacturer REFUSED to recall 900,000 of these potentially deadly bassinets. Normally, CPSC recalls are conducted together with alarmed manufacturers who don’t want to see their young clientele harmed. But SFCA Inc., the company that bought Simplicity’s assets at public auction last April, says it’s not their problem. We understand their reluctance to assume responsibility for those infants’ deaths in bassinets built before their tenure. It’s the callous disregard for the health and safety of 900,000 other infants that we find, well, startling, particularly given a Chicago Tribune investigation today that found a recalled bassinet being shipped under the SFCA label. Perhaps the “not our problem” attitude will provide some comfort to SFCA chairman Ric Miller during his toasty afterlife. (More on him in a moment)
So what’s the deal with the bassinets? The metal bars …
are spaced too far apart. On Aug. 21, a 5-month-old Kansas baby strangled to death when she became trapped between the bassinetâ€™s bars. Another baby died the same way in Missouri on Sept. 29, 2007.
The Consumer Protection folks say this is such an urgent health and safety issue, they’re taking action without the company’s approval – and they’ve gotten an assist from major retailers, including Wal-Mart, Toys R Us and Babies R Us, Kmart , Big Lots!, Target and JC Penney. These stores will provide a refund or store credit to customers who return the bassinet to the store where it was purchased, because apparently, they’d rather take the financial hit themselves than risk babies’ lives.
Want to tell SFCA what you think? I think we all do – particularly after SFCA chairman Ric Miller, a “highly decorated” former Marine Captain, according to his bio, and partner in Blackstreet Capital Management, pledged at the time of the merger to “bring the most safe and best value products to consumers.” Don’t know too many former Marines who interpret “Semper Fi” to mean, “Those 900,000 deadly bassinets? Not my problem.” Want to e-mail or chat with Ric? Here’s his contact info.
Want to rant – or plead ol’ Ric’s case – here? Click “comments.” And please, pass the word about the bassinet recall to friends and family. There are 900,000 unsafe bassinets sitting in nurseries nationwide. Ric and his minions may not care, but we do.