FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 10, 1990
Release # 90-068

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- If you own certain Hedstrom and Sears brand gym sets with "glide rides," and they haven't been retrofitted with glide guards to prevent potential finger amputations and lacerations, you should stop using and discard the product immediately. Hedstrom renewed its campaign to provide free glide guards to owners of sets sold from 1982 to July 1, 1988, because of low consumer response to its original offer and because 19 additional injuries have been reported.

This announcement was made at this time to avoid additional injuries as the weather gets warmer and children are more likely to play on the unrepaired gym sets. The affected model numbers are: Hedstrom Brand numbers 4-277, 4-377, 4-677, 4-777, 4-778, 4-877; and Sears Brand numbers 72226, 72026 and 72066. The model number is on an identification label located on the top bar of the gym set. Each model has a 2-3/8 inch diameter top bar with a glide ride assembly attached with a V- bolt bracket. Approximately 370,000 of these models were sold.

In November 1988 Hedstrom and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) originally announced that glide guards were available for these gym sets. At that time the firm was aware of 12 incidents where a child stood on the slide or crossbar, reached over to propel or stop the motion of the glide ride, and entrapped or pinched a finger in the bracket mechanism. The reported injuries included severed or amputated fingertips and severe lacerations.

Since then 19 more serious injuries have been reported and only about 14,000 consumers have requested the free glide guards. Hedstrom and the Commission are very concerned about the continuing incidents and low response rate and are making another effort to reach owners of unrepaired models.

If you have one of the models listed above, and it has not been equipped with a glide guard, please help prevent further injuries. Stop using and discard or destroy the product. The firm is out of business and the repair program is no longer available.