FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 31, 2001
Release # 01-211
Safety 1st call Hotline: (800) 366-1282
CPSC Consumer Hotline: (800) 638-2772
CPSC Media Contacts: Nychelle Fleming/Ken Giles, (301) 504-7052/1192

CPSC, Safety 1st Announce Recall of Cabinet and Drawer Spring Latches

WASHINGTON, D.C. - In cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), Safety 1st of Canton, Mass., is voluntarily recalling about 1.7 million packages of safety latches used to prevent children from opening cabinets and drawers. If the safety latch breaks, a small spring could be released. Young children could choke on the small spring or gain access to a cabinet or drawer where dangerous items are stored.

CPSC and Safety 1st are aware of 27 incidents with these latches breaking. There have been two injuries reported. A 13-month-old girl placed the broken spring from one of these latches in her mouth and suffered a minor abrasion inside her mouth. Also, a 2-year-old girl was able to open a cabinet protected by a safety latch, gained access to a bathroom cabinet and sprayed tile cleaner into her mouth. She received chemical burns to her throat.

The latches are made of white plastic with a spring which holds the latch closed. "SAFETY 1 st" is written on the top of the latches. Their packaging reads, in part, "SAFETY 1ST" and "CABINET & DRAWER SPRING LATCHES." They were sold in a package of three or four latches. The straight ends of the metal springs are uncovered on the recalled latches. The replacement latches have a plastic tab over the short, straight end of the metal spring.

The springs are uncovered on the recalled latches (left). The replacement latches have a plastic tab over the spring (right).

Toy, hardware and department stores nationwide sold the set of three or four latches from January 1993 through December 1999 for about $7.

Consumers should contact Safety 1st for free replacement latches immediately. For more information, call Safety 1st at (800) 366-1282 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, or go to he firm's web site at www.safety1st.com.

Picture of Recalled and Replacement Spring Latches