Warning Against Potential Strangulations By CPSC

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  
November 28, 1979  
Release # 79-066
 

Warning Against Potential Strangulations By CPSC

WASHINGTON, D.C. (November 28)-- Alarmed that parents may be exposing their infants to possible strangulation by continued use of two dangerous types of baby cribs, the Consumer Product Safety Commission today again urged consumers to participate in a program to eliminate the hazard.

This announcement involves cribs manufactured by Bassett Furniture Industries, Inc., of Bassett, Virginia.

The Bassett cribs requiring modification include the "Mandalaya' and "Candlelite" style beds. They were designed in such a way (see accompanying illustrations) that infants can trap their heads between a corner post and the headboard (or footboard), and strangle as they stand on the crib bed.

CPSC has received six reports of such deaths among infants since September, 1977. CPSC simultaneously expressed concern as to whether similarly designed baby cribs produced by other manufacturers may be posing hazards to infants.

CPSC and Bassett announced a voluntary program to modify the cribs in May, 1978. Since then, only 1,000 of the "Mandalay" cribs reportedly have been modified (Less than 20 percent of the estimated 5,800 Mandalay cribs produced).

Approximately 1,200 of the 1,654 Candlelite cribs have been repaired, Bassett reported to CPSC.

Bassett recently agreed to produced thousands of large wall posters warning parents of the hazard posed by the cribs and to have them distributed to pediatricians nationwide for display in physician's waiting rooms.

Details of "Mandalay" Crib Alert

The Mandalay cribs were produced with a bamboo-like motif, and include models 5126-505 and 5621-505 (painted yellow) and 5225-505 (painted white). The model numbers can be found on an adhesive label affixed to the inside of the headboard below the mattress level.

The cribs were manufactured from February, 1974, through October, 1976, and sold for approximately $100 to $125 in retail stores nationwide.

Parents immediately should remove all four finials (the decorative knobs on top of each cornerpost) by unscrewing them.

Consumers then should report that they have removed the finials by contacting the retailer from which the crib was purchased or the nearest Bassett crib dealer. (Reporting the modification will help Bassett and CPSC maintain an accurate record of the number of cribs repaired.) Bassett crib dealers can be found by checking the "Yellow Pages" section of the telephone directory under the listing "Furniture--Children's," or by placing a collect call to Bassett at 703/629-7511, extension 340.

Details of "Candlelite" Crib Alert

The Candlelite style cribs were manufactured with a traditional colonial design in models 5028-505 and 5028-510 (stained in maple) and 5127-505 and 5127-510 (stained in pine). These model numbers also are printed on a label attached to the inside of the headboard below the mattress.

The cribs sold for approximately $100 in retail stores nationwide, and were manufactured from December, 1975, to mid-October, 1977.

Consumers who have not had their Candlelite cribs modified should contact the tore where it was purchased to arrange for free installation of modifying parts to close the openings in the headboards and footboards.

Parents also can arrange to have these cribs repaired by contacting their nearest Bassett retailer, whose name can be obtained form the telephone directory or by calling Basett at the number listed above.

Until the Candlelite cribs have been repaired, parents should push one end of the crib against a wall and move a high piece of furniture (such as a chest of drawers) against the other end.

Other Cribs

CPSC staff is trying to determine whether baby cribs other than those manufactured by Bassett are designed with headboard and footboard openings which my pose potential safety hazards to infants.

Consumers who are aware of such cribs are urged to report the brand name and model number to CPSC's toll-free Hotline at 800/638-2772.

In addition, concerned parents can protect their infants by pushing one end of these cribs against a wall and positioning a tall piece of furniture against the other end. Parents also should unscrew all four finials on such cribs where possible.

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