Yikes. Some 447,000 infant car seats have been recalled by not just the manufacturer – Dorel – but the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration too. Problem is, these car seats are meant to double as an infant carrier but the child restraint handle can loosen and come off. Some 77 families have reported incidents in which the handle came off – in three cases, babies actually fell and incurred bumps, bruises and a head injury. It’s a Dorel car seat, but it’s sold under the Safety 1st, Cosco, Eddie Bauer and Disney brands, so you’ll need to match your model number and manufacturing date against the master list.
The federal consumer protection folks just recalled 24,000 of these Amby Baby Motion Beds after two babies suffocated – a Georgia 4-month-old in June 2009 and an Oregon 5-month-old in August. The hammock design means babies can roll and become wedged against the fabric and/or mattress pad. If you’ve got one of these, purchased at Ambybaby.com and other online retailers between 2003 and this fall, find a different sleeping arrangement for your baby and contact the company at once.
Got a pacifier? Might want to check that thing. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety folks just recalled 641,000 “Bobby Chupete” Pacifiers. Seems these $1 binkies have a mouth guard that’s so small, it poses a choking hazard for babies and tots. If you’ve got one, take it away from your child and contact the company for a refund or replacement.
Oh ouch. U.S. Consumer Product Safety people and Maclaren Strollers just recalled a million strollers after discovering that flaws in the hinge mechanism were amputating babies’ fingertips. Maclaren received 15 reports of children getting their fingers caught in the hinges when the stroller was being closed or opened – 12 of those kids had their fingertips cut off. The recall includes all Maclaren single and double umbrella strollers ($100-$360) purchased between 1999 and 2009. For details on the models involved and how to get a free repair kit, visit the CPSC recall page.
OK, we all know that Disney recalled its Baby Einstein videos a couple of weeks ago because – surprise! – the videos do not turn your baby into Einstein. Following a class action lawsuit, the Baby Einstein company agreed to refund $15.99 for up to four DVDs, purchased between June 2004 and September of this year, per family.
Here’s the question we’re asking, though. Is there anyone on the planet who actually thought these DVDs would turn their little dimple-cheeked darlings into geniuses?
If you’ve got any of those yummy Plum Organics baby food pouches lurking in your kitchen, pull them out and take a look. The Emeryville-based company just recalled a batch of its Apple & Carrot Portable Pouch baby food – it’s the 4.22 ounce size, with a use-by date of May 21, 2010, and the number #890180001221 on the bottom. No one has gotten sick and the rest of the Plum Organics line seems to be OK, but this particular batch lacked the FDA-approved acidity levels that prevent contamination with the nerve toxin – Clostridium botulinum – that causes botulism. Lovely, huh? As a precaution, Plum Organics recalled the batch. If you’ve got a pouch at home, return it to any Toys R Us or Babies R Us store for a full refund.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and Kolcraft just recalled 425,000 infant play yards after a 10-month-old baby boy strangled to death. Twelve different models are included in the recall and all of them have a raised changing table with a strap that forms a loop underneath. One model also has a rocking cradle in which children can become trapped and suffocate. There have already been 45 reports of babies rolling to the side of the cradle and getting wedged. These play yards were sold between 2001 and 2007. Check the web site for specific model numbers, then contact the company to get replacement parts.
Bouncy, bouncy, ouch. The Consumer Product Safety folks and BabyBjörn just recalled 6,500 of these Balance Air bouncer chairs. Seems there are sharp metal objects in the padded area that can protrude and possibly injure babies. No injuries reported, but just the same, if you’ve got one of these, check the model number against the CPSC list. The $170-$190 seats were sold between last September and July 2009. If you’ve got one, contact the company for return instructions.
“Booties Camp: Sleep Issues”
July 29 at 10 a.m. at Bananas, Oakland
Sleep, and the lack thereof, are the topic of this week’s Baby Booties Camp at Bananas. Register here.
“Childhood Matters: Breastfeeding”
Aug. 2 from 7 to 8 a.m. on 98.1 KISS-FM and streamed live on Childhoodmatters.org. Rona Renner, RN, and panelists discuss breastfeeding and other inexpensive, healthy ways to feed babies.
“Living with Ones & Twos”
Aug. 4 at 7 p.m. at Bananas, Oakland
Speaker: Nurse practitioner Meg Zweiback leads a discussion on toddlers, their developing personalities and stages. (Register here) Read the rest of this entry »
The $343 million baby luxury market soon may be a thing of the past, a relic of the early 21st century’s spend-spend-spend mentality. Industry watchers are noticing a marked uptick in the numbers of families who’ve stopped buying luxury baby gear – new strollers with iPod docks for baby *and* mom, anyone? Instead, they’re parking their Lexuses (Lexi?) at the curb of second hand baby stores, cruising CraigsList and embracing hand-me-downs.
The result? The “play and discover” market – industryspeak for “stuff for kids ages 0-1″ – that soared 75 percent between 2003 and 2007, is tanking now. Sales plunged by more than a third in 2008 alone. Wildman’s fascinating piece in yesterday’s New York Times – “For Firstborns, Secondhand Fits the Bill” – notes that the new frugality is not limited to those who can’t afford the latest $900 Bugaboo or swanky $1,000 changing table. Affluent families are questioning their spending too. And they started doing it before the economy really hit its stomach-churning slide. So what do you think? Is this part of the too-much-stuff eco-consciousness of today? Or are we finally waking up from our Madison Avenue-induced trance?