The infants died after they were trapped in Simplicity close-sleeper/bedside sleeper bassinets, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Being recalled are Simplicity’s 3-in-1 and 4-in-1 convertible bassinets. They include horizontal bars spaced too far apart – if a Velcro-fastened fabric cover is improperly affixed, a baby can become trapped between the bars, with most of his weight outside of the bassinet.
A Georgia infant girl suffocated in September 2008 after becoming trapped in the fabric. A six-month-old girl died in Texas in January of this year when the fabric flap was left undone and she became trapped between the bars.
In all, four infants have died in the close-sleeper bassinets.
SFCA Inc., the Reading, Pa.-based company that bought Simplicity’s assets out of foreclosure, has apparently stopped conducting day-to-day operations. Calls and e-mails from consumers to SFCA are going unanswered.
In response to the commission’s announcement, SFCA issued a statement published in the Reading (Pa.) Eagle:
"The safety of our customers is always SFCA’s No. 1 concern. The CPSC product alert does not involve any product manufactured and distributed by SFCA, Inc.
"CPSC itself has confirmed that the alert does not include bassinets made by SFCA that have fabric permanently attached over the lower bar. All bassinets produced and sold by SFCA are produced in this manner … and meet or exceed CPSC guidelines."
The consumer-protection agency and SFCA have had a contentious relationship. The Wall Street Journal reported in 2008 that SFCA refused liability for recalling the dangerous bassinets.
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