Crib recall is just the latest
Some owners say it's been difficult to get the repair kit.
The recall of more than 2.1 million Stork Craft drop-side cribs, including about 147,000 Stork Craft drop-side cribs with the Fisher-Price logo, is just the latest in a series of actions involving cribs this year.
As part of the most recent recall, involving about 1.21 million units distributed in the United States and 968,000 units distributed in Canada, the Consumer Product Safety Commission is urging parents and caregivers to stop using the recalled cribs immediately, wait for the free repair kit that converts the drop side on these cribs to a fixed side, and not to attempt to fix the cribs without the kit. The recalled cribs have been linked to four deaths.
It also is advising parents to find an alternative, safe sleeping environment for their baby.
However, obtaining the repair kit has not been easy for everyone.
- Teryn L. of Spanish Fort, Ala., told ConsumerAffairs.com that when she ordered the replacement brackets back in January, she was told they would be shipped and arrive in 10 business days. After a month, she said, she received nothing, adding, "I have tried to call the company and I get a recording that says the mailbox is full or the number stays busy all day."
- Iwona L. of Addison, Ill., told us of a similar problem. "I have been unable to contact them. The phone is constantly busy and the Web site is unable to download. How do they expect customers to get in touch with them without sufficient customer-service representatives attending to the phones?"
Could be quicker
The head of the CPSC acknowledges that her agency did not move quickly enough to get the Stork Craft cribs off the market. "We were not advancing this case as quickly as possible," Chairman Inez Tenenbaum told The Associated Press. "So, I put all of the resources for the agency on this project so that they could accomplish this goal of recalling the crib."
Alan Korn, executive director of Safe Kids USA, told ConsumerAffairs.com that he's gratified by the increased attention being paid by the CPSC. "There does seem to be that there's a new day at the agency," Korn said. "We're hopeful that the agency will be more aggressive for products like cribs, bassinets and playpens."
Korn stresses that "cheaper is not better" when it comes to infant products. He said the recalls usually involve the lower price cribs "where the hardware is weaker -- it's plastic, maybe the craftsmanship isn't there." If possible, Korn advises, parents should upgrade their crib purchases.
Safe Kids USA said that if there's any product that needs to be particularly safe for infants, it's cribs, because this is "where we leave children unattended for long periods of time," Korn said. He called incidents involving cribs, particularly when there are deaths, "very alarming."
Related reading at ConsumerAffairs.com:
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