About a million Maclaren strollers sold by Target and Babies "R" Us were recalled Monday, after 12 reports of children having their fingertips amputated by a hinge mechanism.
The recall includes all nine models of single and double umbrella Maclaren strollers, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, which announced the recall after an investigation.
The amputation risk occurs when a child's finger is placed in the hinge mechanism of a stroller while it is being unfolded. When the opened stroller locks into place, it can cut off the tip of the child's finger.
"Stop using it immediately," CBS News medical correspondent Dr. Jennifer Ashton advises parents who own a Maclaren stroller.
The recall includes the following stroller models: Volo, Triumph, Quest Sport, Quest Mod, Techno XT, TechnoXLR, Twin Triumph, Twin Techno and Easy Traveller. They have been sold at Babies "R" Us, Target and other stores around the country since 1999. Prices for the strollers ranged from $100 to $360.
The company is offering free hinge covers to prevent future incidents. The covers should not be removed unless the stroller is being cleaned, according to the CPSC.
"Our message to parents, grandparents and all caregivers is to make sure that you stop using these strollers until you get the repair kit, which zips the covers in place," said CPSC spokeswoman Patty Davis.
The strollers were manufactured in China and distributed by Maclaren USA Inc of South Norwalk, Conn.
The company could not immediately be reached by phone for comment and its Web site was offline.
Stroller recalls aren't unusual for the government agency. For example, the commission in August recalled about 41,000 strollers made by the company Baby Jogger because certain models used faulty buckles, which raised concerns that children could fall from the strollers.
Companies are required under federal law to alert the agency if they discover information about the safety of their products, according to the commission's Web site. The commission can hold companies accountable for not doing so.
For example, Costco agreed in 2001 to pay $1.75 million in fines to the commission in a settlement deal. The company, which the commission said was the largest manufacturer of strollers at the time, faced charges of not notifying the commission about defects with its cribs, strollers, car seat carriers and high chairs.
The commission lists its product recalls online. A search of its available stroller recalls, which date back to 1977, shows this is Maclaren's first recall.