Release date: April 16, 1997
Release number: 97-099

Release Details

Despite recall notices and public warnings, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has found that many products with the potential to seriously injure or kill a child are still being used.

In an effort to rid consumers' homes of hazardous products, CPSC has enlisted the help of state and local officials, as well as national and state health and safety organizations. Governors, state health officials, and grassroots groups will help publicize the safety campaign, and distribute information on the hazardous products. In some states, recalled products will be rounded up and brought to a central location for disposal.

"Participation in this springtime roundup is vital so consumers can find out whether they are using previously recalled products. The roundup will also help people determine whether old playpens and cribs, often acquired at garage sales or second-hand stores, are safe to use again or pose injury and death risks to children," said CPSC Chairman Ann Brown.

Today, CPSC will launch the safety campaign by broadcasting a video to television stations across the country. This video will include examples of hazardous products that might be in consumers' homes, such as the following:

-- Bean bag chairs that can present a choking or suffocation hazard to children. Some bean bag chairs can be unzipped and children can then inhale the small pellets of foam filling. CPSC is aware of 5 deaths and at least 23 other incidents in which children inhaled or ingested bean bag filling. In the past two years, CPSC obtained the recall of more than 12 million bean bag chairs.

-- Wooden bunk beds that can strangle young children. Since 1990, CPSC has received reports of 34 children who died after becoming caught in wooden bunk beds with improper openings in the top bunk structure. Since 1995, CPSC has obtained the recall of approximately half a million hazardous bunk beds.

-- Mini-hammocks that can strangle children. CPSC has received reports of 12 children, ages 5 to 17 years, who became entangled and died when using mini-hammocks without spreader bars. Last year, CPSC obtained the recall of over three million mini-hammocks.

-- Old cribs that can choke or suffocate a small child. Cribs more than 2 3/8 inches between crib slats, corner posts, or cut-outs on the headboard or footboard present suffocation and strangulation hazards to babies. Each year, 50 babies die when they become trapped between broken crib parts or in cribs with older, unsafe designs.

"The commission sometimes learns of deaths or serious injuries to children caused by previously recalled products. We want to prevent these needless tragedies," said Brown. "We urge consumers to check their attics and other storage areas for old products that could be hazardous."

CPSC's toll-free telephone hotline and web site provide information about recalled products and information on what to look for when buying children's products. Consumers can reach the hotline at 800-638-2772 or visit the web site at

To get a copy mailed to them, consumers should send a postcard to "Recall List," CPSC, Washington, DC 20207.

This news release is available in Spanish by calling Jesús Chaírez at (214) 827-6239.

Media Contact

Please use the below phone number for all media requests.

Phone: (301) 504-7908
Spanish: (301) 504-7800

View CPSC contacts for specific areas of expertise