Release # 80-020


WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 23) -- Approximately 400,000 "Indoor Gym Houses" are being recalled by their manufacturer, Creative Playthings, because they may pose a strangulation hazard to young children. Creative Playthings is a division of CBS, Inc., of New York, N.Y.

The recall is being conducted voluntarily in cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

The gym houses consist of a hollow, masonite-and-wood box 30 inches in height which supports a two-step wooden ladder on one side and a short slide on the opposite side. The top of the box or "platform" serves as a bridge between the ladder and the slide and is protected on two sides by wooden railings.

The product is intended for use by children ages 18 months through 3 years old, according to the manufacturer. It was designed to include a space between the upper rung of the ladder and the platform, which is small enough to enable children to trap their heads and potentially strangle or asphyxiate.

CPSC staff has been informed of two incidents since October, 1979, in which young children entrapped their heads in the space as they sat facing the platform on the bottom rung of the ladder. One incident resulted in the strangulation of an 18-month-old baby girl. The other caused a 16-month-old boy to asphyxiate, resulting in irreversible brain damage.

The gym houses being recalled were manufactured from 1962 through 1979 and were sold nationwide in toy stores and other retail outlets for approximately $29 to $50. Models manufactured before 1977 were constructed with a 6-inch space between the ladder's top rung and the platform, and models made after 1977 included a 5-inch space.

The firm had redesigned all gym houses manufactured since January, 1980 with an expanded 7.5-inch distance between the platform and the upper rung of the ladder, greatly reducing the likelihood of head entrapment.

The Creative Playthings company that conducted the recall no longer exists. The replacement ladder is no longer available. Consumers should discard or destroy the ladder if they still have this product.


The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is still interested in receiving incident or injury reports that are either directly related to this product recall or involve a different hazard with the same product. Please tell us about your experience with the product on

CPSC is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of injury or death associated with the use of the thousands of consumer products under the agency's jurisdiction. Deaths, injuries, and property damage from consumer product incidents cost the nation more than $900 billion annually. CPSC is committed to protecting consumers and families from products that pose a fire, electrical, chemical, or mechanical hazard. CPSC's work to ensure the safety of consumer products - such as toys, cribs, power tools, cigarette lighters, and household chemicals - contributed to a decline in the rate of deaths and injuries associated with consumer products over the past 30 years.

Under federal law, it is illegal to attempt to sell or resell this or any other recalled product.