WebMD Medical News
Daniel J. DeNoon
Laura J. Martin, MD
Oct. 20, 2010 -- The strangulation deaths of four babies has led Graco to recall 2 million Quattro and MetroLite brand strollers.
The deaths aren't recent. They occurred between 2003 and 2005. That bothers Donald Mays, senior director of product safety for Consumer Reports.
"This troubles me very much. It seems to me way too long before Graco recalled these products," Mays tells WebMD. "It seems that for this company there are lots of cases where injuries mounted before something was done."
In 2005, Mays says, Graco was levied a record civil penalty for failing to report problems to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).
In January, Graco recalled 1.5 million strollers after five children lost fingertips in the canopy hinge.
The strollers in the current recall were sold between November 2000 and December 2007.
The danger is that babies, especially infants under age 12 months, can slip through the opening between the stroller tray and the seat bottom. In these strollers, the opening is big enough for the baby's torso to slip through, but not big enough for the baby's head. Infants thus caught by the neck can strangle.
In addition to the four deaths, the CPSC has received five reports of infants becoming trapped in the strollers, resulting in cuts and bruises, and one report of an infant having trouble breathing.
These problems do not happen if the baby is secured in the stroller harness and the child is not left unattended in the stroller.
Mays says that Consumer Reports has tested new versions of Graco's Quattro and MetroLite strollers, and that both models pass its stringent safety tests.
However, two other brands of strollers from other manufacturers -- Tike Tech and Valco Baby -- did not pass the tests. Consumer Reports notified the CPSC, and the products were recalled two weeks ago.
Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled Graco strollers and should contact Graco at 877-828-4046 for a free repair kit.
Here's the list of strollers included in the current recall. The model numbers are printed on a label at the lower portion of the rear frame, just above the rear wheels or underneath the stroller. The name "Graco" appears on a label on the stroller tray and the headrest.
Nov 2002 - Dec 2007
Quattro Stroller Travel System
Oct 2002 - Oct 2007
Nov 2000 - Dec 2007
MetroLite Travel System
Dec 2000 - June 2005
NOTE: Quattro and MetroLite strollers ending with the number 3 are NOT affected by this recall.
SOURCES:News release, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.GracoBaby web site.Donald Mays, senior director of product safety, Consumer Reports.Consumer Reports web site.
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