FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  
May 23, 1988  
Release # 88-030
 

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- In cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, C&T International, Inc., Moonachie, New Jersey, today announced it is voluntarily making available to consumers a free modification kit for its mesh-sided playpen with drop sides, model number 585, "Circus America." Some of the playpens fail to warn users of a potential suffocation hazard if an infant is left in the playpen with one of the sides down. All of the playpens present a finger crushing hazard at two locations in the drop side locking system. In addition, when the playpens are folded for storage, it is possible for a child to remove the plastic feet which may present a choking hazard.

The Commission is aware of a number of deaths and injuries involving mesh-sided playpens with drop sides produced by firms other than C&T. Eleven infants are known to have died when left unattended in playpens with a drop side down. These children suffocated when they rolled into a mesh pocket created by the lowered drop side. The Commission is also aware of several incidents in which children's fingers were crushed when they attempted to climb into a playpen grasping the folded drop side locking system. The playpens involved in these incidents were not manufactured by C&T; however, some of the playpens sold by C&T are similar to the playpens involved in the incidents and present the same hazards.

The affected collapsible mesh-sided playpens may be identified by a self-adhesive label on the floorboard which states: Art. 585, CIRCUS AMERICA EX. The playpens measure 39 by 39 by 33 inches and contain a removable foam floor pad. The product has four plastic rings about three inches in diameter on the inside which can be used by a child to pull up on. Four hinges made of plastic must be pushed up in order to fold the playpen. The product, which is imported from Italy, retails for about $89.99. The "Circus Polo" playpen model number 582 is not affected by this action.

Approximately, 2,500 playpens have been distributed nationwide since November 1984. Although some of the playpens have the suffocation hazard warning label, all of the playpens present a finger crushing hazard in the folded drop side locking system and a choking hazard in the removable plastic feet.

C&T International will provide a free modification kit to consumers who call l-800-537-1922. New Jersey residents call 201-896-2555. The kit contains a Safety Alert warning of the potential suffocation hazard, plastic inserts to prevent the possibility of finger crushing incidents in the folded drop side locking system, and replacement plastic feet which can not be removed by young children.

Children should never be left in playpens with the drop sides down. Until owners receive and install the modification kit, the plastic feet should be removed and discarded.

Picture of Playpen and its Hazard Areas